Marine renewables: paving the way for the energies of the future

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Atlantic France is a leader in the field of marine renewables. With its long coastline and strong tides, the region offers abundant offshore wind, tidal, and wave power. The regional council is committed to supporting the sector, and many players are innovating in this ever-growing field.

The next edition of the Fowt convention will take place on the 10th,11th, and 12th of May 2023 in Nantes. It is the world’s largest event dedicated to floating offshore wind and will be held in Atlantic France for the first time. It will be an opportunity to organise technical visits so as to introduce international professionals to emblematic places in the sector and to allow them to discover innovative projects. We will also be present at the Seanergy forum, which will be held this year in Paris on the 20th and 21st of June. This event was organised in Nantes in 2021.

State-of-the-art infrastructure to support research

Representatives of six major European ports signed an agreement in January to accelerate the development of offshore wind energy. Nantes Saint-Nazaire Port has joined forces with ABP Humber (United Kingdom), Oostende Port (Belgium), Groningen Seaports/Eemshaven (Netherlands), Niedersachsen Port/Cuxhaven (Germany), and Port Esbjerg (Denmark). 

Their objective is to deploy at least 65 GW of offshore energy production by 2030, as pledged by the Esbjerg Declaration. This is an ambitious goal, given that only 13 GW are currently in operation. The ports aim to strengthen operational and practical cooperation, including shared storage and optimised processes thanks to digital technology.

To meet the specific needs of the marine renewable energy industry, Nantes Saint-Nazaire Port has been developing its infrastructure over recent years, in particular at the Forme Joubert dry dock. In addition, the Sem-Rev offshore test site, off the coast of Saint-Nazaire, has been hosting Floatgen (the first French offshore wind turbine) since 2018, and Lhyfe is also carrying out an innovative project in order to produce green hydrogen offshore. 

Sem-Rev is one of the five French sea test sites managed by the recently created Open-C Foundation. Based in Nantes, its aim is to coordinate research projects representing an investment of €400 million over the next 10 years. The foundation joins 10 marine renewables industrials and academics: Ifremer, Centrale Nantes, ITE France Énergies Marines, EDF, RTE, TotalEnergies, Technip Energies, Valorem, Valeco, and Énergie de la Lune.

Innovative companies in marine renewables

Atlantic France is home to many companies that either specialise in marine renewable energy or have developed a specific expertise to meet the needs of this new sector. Some are less well-known but have achieved remarkable success. Among those that have been in the news recently, we can highlight the following:

  • SCM, which is a large American group that has a subsidiary in Le Mans and specialises in the installation of submarine cables for floating wind turbines. The company has a laboratory with a 100 sqm workshop and outdoor testing facilities for the big pressure vessel and the gas equipment.
  • Akrocean provides data collection for marine renewables professionals. The Nantes-based company offers floating LiDAR solutions and is currently undergoing certification of its innovative bird radar, which is called FLY’RSEA, off Paimboeuf.
  • Alka marine, a marine engineering specialist based in Saint-Nazaire, has a fleet of boats designed for the MRE sector and invested €5 million in 2022 in order to develop it.
  • NOV-BLM, based in Carquefou (in the Nantes urban area), designs “jack-up” systems (XXL devices that land on the seabed to lift a ship and are used to install offshore wind turbines), and innovative anchoring systems for floating wind turbines.
  • The FMGC foundry, European leader in cast iron counterweights, has launched an investment programme of more than €30 million. Part of the Farinia group, the company is based in Soudan, near Châteaubriant (Atlantic France), is developing its offer for floating wind turbines and plans to increase its production capacity by 50%.
  • Lancelin rope factory, from Mayenne, has adapted its expertise for marine renewables and has cutting-edge testing equipment that the company rents to other players.

Do you need innovative solutions to develop your marine renewables projects or do you have a company that offers complementary services to what we already have in Atlantic France? 

Contact us to get help with setting up in the leading French marine-renewables region!

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