Marine renewable energy, storage and services

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Maritime France has many advantages it can bring to bear in the development of industrial sectors exploiting renewable energy technologies: the world's second largest maritime zone (EEZ) offering opportunities for all types of renewable energy (wind, current, tidal, wave and ocean thermal energy), an advanced research capability and powerful diversified naval and maritime industries. 

Under the Kyoto protocol, France was given a target of generating at least 23% “green energy” by 2020, 6 GW of which in marine renewable energy (MRE). 

The Energy Transition Law which was passed in August 2015 set an even more ambitious target of 40% renewable energy in our electricity mix by 2030. 

The contribution from marine energy will be essential if we are to reach this target, and its share will be set in the long-term energy plan to be negotiated in the second half of 2015. 

Offshore wind, the most mature technology, was first put out to tender in two calls for bids covering six wind farms for a total output of nearly 3 GW, but this is still a long way off the target of 6 GW (incidentally the total offshore wind potential in France is 80 GW)! 

In Europe France is lagging behind. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), in its half-yearly statistics, reported a total of 82 farms installed in 11 different countries, accounting for more than 10,393 MW on July 1st. The 584 wind turbines that entered service in the first half of 2015 were located in three countries: Germany primarily, with 406 turbines and 1,706 MW, way ahead of the United Kingdom with 140 units for 522 MW, although the country still leads in total capacity, and the Netherlands with 38 units and 114 MW). 

New projects are due to be launched in France. Renewable energy lobbying organisation SER has proposed the following by 2030: 15,000 MW of bottom-fixed offshore wind installed capacity; 6,000 MW of floating wind capacity; 3,000 MW of tidal stream capacity. But the projects will only be realised if manufacturers can lower costs. A reduction of 25% is targeted from the next tendering process for bottom-fixed wind turbines, which will be for 3000 MW. This target can be achieved by adopting the best European practices. Taking the example of Denmark, the Horns Rev 3 project was awarded in 2015 at a low price of € 103 / MWh for electricity, achieved mainly through a process of competitive dialogue. 

As regards the other MRE technologies, France has recently taken a big step forward in floating wind turbines. In August, a call for proposals was launched by the French environmental and energy management agency ADEME for pilot farms of floating turbines on four sites, three in the Mediterranean and one in Brittany. Manufacturers will be able to test their technologies in order to position them as an important component of the Energy Transition process. 

Syndicat des Énergies Renouvelables (SER)

SER brings together 380 members, representing a turnover of E 10 G and more than 75,000 jobs. It is the only French professional organization which deals with all renewable energy sectors: biomass, wood, biofuels, biogas, wind power, marine energies, geothermal, hydroelectricity, heat pumps, photovoltaic, thermal and concentrated solar power. Its mission is to promote the interests of French industrials and professionals of renewable energy, and to defend French interests in the main European programs of the sector. 

SER promotes renewable energy through development of the activities covered by its members. 

To this end, SER represents them with public, national, European and local authorities and with regulatory authorities. SER promotes the results of these activities with the public and in the media. 

Its Marine Renewable Energies Commission and the Offshore Wind Power Pole of its Wind Power Commission are each constituted by several 50 members working together to make efficient proposals to help the expansion of the marine renewable energies. 

Comité EMR du GICAN 

The development of marine renewable energies requires knowledge and know-hows that are specific to our marine environment. 

GICAN, as the professional body representing shipbuilding-marine industries branch (see page 28) set up in 2011 its MRE-Industry committee to bring together and provide a technical framework for manufacturers from the French maritime industries, that invest and innovate for MRE developments. 

Besides construction, maintenance of field installation and service vessels, manufacturers in the naval and marine sectors also engage themselves in building parts or whole of energy-generators, support structures, electricity sub-stations, etc. 

France Énergies Marines

France Énergies Marines is a research institute devoted to Marine Renewable Energies. The Institute supports the growth of this new industrial sector and covers the whole range of MRE, namely fixed and floating offshore wind, tidal current energy, wave power and ocean thermal energy conversion. 

Built around a large public-private partnership, France Energies Marines enhances synergies between academics and industrial players through multi-disciplinary research teams. Its R&D activities aim at derisking projects for a better confidence of investors, at lowering the levelised cost of energy of these technologies, and at enhancing the benefits of the feedback of French and European experiences, in close relationship with the trial sites at sea. 

Project developers for marine renewable energy (fixed offshore wind turbines)

EDF Énergies Nouvelles

EDF Énergies Nouvelles is a market leader in green electricity production. The company ensures the development and construction of renewable energy projects as well as their operation and maintenance, for own account and for third parties. 

Mainly operating in Europe and North America, the company is focused on wind and solar photovoltaic energy. 

EDF EN take part in the development of an industrial sector of marine energies through several projects: 

  • The offshore windfarm of Teesside in the United Kingdom, commissioned in 2013 and entirely realized by EDF EN. 
  • The offshore wind projects of Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Saint-Nazaire, with a total power of 1,400 MW. 

EDF EN is also the winner, in partnership with DCNS, of the ADEME call for expression of interest for the implementation of a pilot tidal turbine array off the French coast of Normandy. 

EDF Energies Nouvelles is a subsidiary of the EDF Group dedicated to renewable energy. 


As the number one independent power producer worldwide, ENGIE puts the responsible growth at the heart of its businesses. The group has a large experience and know-how which is fully recognized in the field of renewable energies. 

In France, its installed capacity of more than 10,000 MW is made up for more than 50% from renewable energies. Leader in onshore wind with an overall capacity of 1,345 MW, ENGIE also has strong ambitions in solar, in tidal power and in offshore wind projects. The group has recently been successful in two offshore wind projects as a part of the second round of the public call for tenders organized by the French government, Dieppe-le Tréport and les îles d’Yeu et Noirmoutier, for a total power of 1,000 MW. ENGIE was also selected by the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) for the construction of its tidal turbine project at le Raz Blanchard (Manche). The group continues working on a tidal turbine project situated in the zone of le passage du Fromveur (Finistère)

ENGIE employs 152,900 people worldwide for a turnover of € 74.7 billion in 2014. 


La Compagnie du Vent

The French pioneer in wind energy, La Compagnie du Vent, subsidiary of ENGIE, is today one of the leading renewable energy players. At the end of 2014 La Compagnie du Vent has generated around 35 installations (including wind farms and photovoltaic parks) either already in service or being installed, generating nearly 500 megawatts. La Compagnie du Vent has also initiated the Tréport zone offshore windfarm project for which the consortium ENGIE, EDP Renewables and Neoen Marine has been selected by the French government. La Compagnie du Vent is still implicated in this project ensuring local consultation and obtaining administrative authorisations. La Compagnie du Vent has initiated a successful diversification in solar photovoltaic energy, with 5 photovoltaic plants in operation, one of the largest on "trackers" in France (Langelé – Landes). By 2016, La Compagnie du Vent will have built seven new photovoltaic plants and will reach 100 MWp of installed capacity.


Neoen Marine

Neoen is a French Independent Power Producer owned by IMPALA and OMNES Capital the former Credit Agricole Private Equity Renewable Energy fund. Already active in France and Portugal with a portfolio of assets exceeding 200 MW, neoen targets 1,000 MW for 2017, establishing its foothold on high potential markets in Central and North America as well as Africa and Australia. Neoen’s develop-invest-hold approach is key to a long-term commitment to its stakeholders. 

Neoen Marine, a subsidiary of La Caisse des Dépôts and Neoen, is specialized in the development of Marine Renewable Energy projects. Neoen Marine has built a unique expertise in the management of environmental and technical challenges of offshore wind projects. 

In 2012, during the first French offshore wind tender, Neoen Marine has been awarded the project zone of Saint Brieuc bay together with its partners Iberdrola and EoleRES. 

In 2014, Neoen Marine associated with ENGIE and EDPR has been awarded the two zones of Yeu- Noirmoutier and Le Tréport in the second offshore wind tender launched by French Government. 

These successes confirmed Neoen Marine as a key player in the French offshore wind market. 

WPD Offshore France

Independent Renewable Power Producer (IRPP), the wpd group is a major actor in renewable energy covering all aspects of the projects. His French subsidiary, wpd Offshore France is actively engaged in designing and developing offshore wind farm projects off the French coasts since 2007. In the first French offshore tender, wpd Offshore France has been co-awarded the development, the construction and the operation of future windfarms off Fécamp (Seine-Maritime) and Courseulles-sur-Mer (Calvados), with his partners (EDF Energies Nouvelles and DONG Energy). 

Established in 1996, the wpd group is actively engaged in 17 countries and has already set up more than 1700 wind turbines in the world for a total capacity of more than 3GW. With the financing, the construction and the operation of more than 100 renewable energy plants throughout the world, the wpd group has built up an unequalled expertise in onshore and offshore wind power through its subsidiaries: Deutsche Windtechnik (service provider for maintenance and service for the wind industry), wpd Windmanager (service provider for technical operating and commercial management of wind farms), and wpd offshore solutions (service provider for project and construction management of offshore wind farms). 

Active since 2000, wpd offshore is one of the pioneers of offshore wind development, including the construction of the first commercial wind park in Germany, Baltic 1 (48MW). With a strong portfolio of around 6.5 GW, the group is one of the major players in the industry. wpd offshore has 9 wind farms authorized for a total capacity of 3,802 MW, including 1,500 MW under construction in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Actually, during the summer 2015, wpd offshore finished the construction of the Butendiek wind farm (288 MW) and has just secured the financing of the Nordergründe project (110 MW), construction should begin in March 2016. 

Marine renewable energy also includes

In addition to fixed offshore wind turbines, marine renewable energy includes:

floating wind turbines, 

hydrokinetic power, 

ocean thermal energy conversion, 

osmotic energy, 

tidal power,

wave power. 

Akuo Energy

Akuo Energy is the leading French independent power producer of renewable energy. With subsidiaries in 8 countries, the Group’s know-how covers all the green energy production value chain: development, finance, construction and operation. Today, the Company has nearly 400 MW-worth of projects in operation, more than 200 MW already funded, and a goal of 3,000 MW of installed capacity in operation within five years. 

Akuo Energy operates all renewable resources: wind, solar, hydro, biomass and marine energies. Akuo Energy’s pioneering approach to islands was strengthened as of 2012, when the results of an exploratory mission to study the marine energies led to forge a technological partnership with DCNS. The first applications to emerge from this cooperative venture concern Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), a disruptive technology for land located within the inter-tropical convergence zone. 

Guinard Énergies

The company Guinard-energy (SAS) is an engineering company developing hydrokinetic systems, MegaWattForce® and MegaWattBlue®, intended to capture the energy of tidal currents and transform them into electrical energy. The original concept, covered by patents, is characterized by high energy efficiency. 


Located near Marseille since 2010, IDEOL’s highly experienced and pluridisciplinary team of engineers has developed an award-winning floating foundation for the offshore wind industry. 

Its patented and particularly competitive « damping pool » technology is at the heart of France’s first offshore wind turbine (construction scheduled in 2015), has been selected by the japanese government for its second generation of offshore demonstrators (construction and installation scheduled in 2016) and will equip pre-commercial windfarms before 2020. 

Manufacturable in concrete or steel and compatible with all standard offshore wind turbines, IDEOL’s solution is by far the most competitive floating solution on the market, guarantees the highest level of local content and has as such been recognized as a real industry changer. 

Hydrocap Energy

Hydrocap Energy is an independent company based in France. It is leading a collaborative project aimed at building and testing “SEACAP”, a Wave Energy Converter. The company has validated its concept, achieved several satisfactory computer simulations and virtual reality demonstration, as well as a preliminary project with an international shipyard. Tank test on a 1/20th scale model have been successfully done in september 2013, confirming previous numerical results. The company now studies the realization of an oceanic demonstrator with a european consortium and is seeking a utility company to join the team. One of its specificities is the production of clean Hydrogen on its platforms. 

Offshore energy storage

The corollary of renewable energy development is the storage of energy. Renewable energy (water, wind, sun) is a fluctuating resource, unlike energy from fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil). Their development may eventually compromise the balance between generation (supply) and consumption (demand) on electricity grids. Of course this eventuality is anticipated well in advance, but studies show that by 2040/50 more than half of world energy consumption will come from renewable sources, which will result in a consequent need to store the energy generated at certain times of the day for consumption at other times. 

Currently only 3% of the electricity consumed in the world is stored. And more than 99% of this is in the form of pumped-storage hydroelectric schemes. This is the most competitive technology. Others, still of marginal importance, are more costly. Despite its competitive advantage, pumped-storage hydroelectricity has the drawback of a high environmental impact since entire valleys need to be flooded. Moreover, the best sites, that is to say those with a significant height differential, have already been developed. 

Hence the idea of moving offshore where energy storage can take place in areas of deep water far away from coasts, therefore at lower cost and with less environmental damage. No scheme exists at the present time, but two technologies are currently being studied and supported by members of the French Maritime Cluster. An underwater compressed air storage technology (the AGNES system developed by EOLFI), and a gravity storage technology using weights that move between the bottom and the surface (the MGH process developed by MGH S.A.S.). These two processes represent the first steps towards an industry called Deep Sea Energy Storage (DSES), by analogy with Deep Sea Mining from which it borrows a number of technological building blocks. 

The DSES market is a global market estimated to be worth around € 200 billion by 2040/50, which is good reason for manufacturers and producers to get together in a consortium to share the risks and benefits of a nascent technology with huge potential. 

Developement, Services, financing, systems and products for Marine renewable energy

B-Bornemann Conseil (see page 126) publishes an international newswatch at the portal


Corrosion is the world leader for manufacturing solutions of corrosion protection for offshore structures by impressed current (wind, oil & gas, tidal turbines fields). We also supply vessels with ICCP, ICAF, MGPS and Sacrificial anodes (corrosion and fouling). 

Corrosion France grows along with the RME markets and its target is to open in France a study and production yard for windmills and tidal turbines. 


Created in 2004 and active in France (Paris and Marseille), Poland and Taiwan, EOLFI has become the first international developer of floating offshore projects since 2012. EOLFI’s offshore portfolio includes 3 GW in Europe and 2 GW in Asia. 

EOLFI also develops other activities covering the whole value chain of renewable energies: 

  • onshore wind and solar projects development in France and internationally, 
  • asset management through EAM, a French registered investment fund management company dedicated to wind and solar power infrastructures, 
  • development of technologies: 

> SPINFLOAT project, design of a floating vertical axis offshore wind turbine with pitched blades, 

> BLIDAR project, metocean data measurement buoy, which consortium has been subsidized by the FUI (French Single Interministerial Fund), 

> STATIONIS project, a decision support software for the bottom-surface linking (anchoring and electrical system) of a floating wind farm, which consortium has been subsidized by the FUI, 

> AGNES, design and project development in the field of underwater compressed air energy storage (UW-CAES). 

Until 2013 EOLFI was the wind subsidiary of VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT. Since its independence, its business strategy has been focusing on marine renewable energies. 

École Centrale de Nantes - LHEEA

The LHEEA is a research laboratory associated with the CNRS. It studies marine and oceanic engineering problems using a combined approach: computer simulation and experimental simulation, aided by the unique experimental facilities available in France. 

West Normandy Marine Energy

WNME, the key contact for all MRE projects in Basse-Normandie. 

WNME was launched in 2012 by three local authorities: Basse-Normandie Region, Department of Manche and Urban Community of Cherbourg. WNME develops and manages all activities around MRE, regarding supply chain, research and human resources and training. 

Basse-Normandie has fantastic assets for the development of tidal and offshore wind energy: 

  • an industrial offshore project in Cherbourg, 
  • an offshore wind farm in Courseulles-sur-Mer, 
  • the 1st worldwide exploitable tidal potential, 
  • a high capacity energy grid. 

WNME build relationships with companies involved in MRE, as well as players in research and innovation, outsourcing. It ensures the development of human skills to meet the needs of manufacturers. 

WNME assumes the role of attracting companies to settle in Basse-Normandie. 


SOPER is the personal holding company of Jean- Michel Germa. With about E 250 M in assets, SOPER is in charge of managing a 41% equity stake in La Compagnie du Vent, pioneer company in the onshore and offshore wind industry, founded in 1991. 

SOPER also explores some investment and/ or development opportunities in the fields of renewable energies, energy savings and environmental protection. 

In this context, SOPER is particularly interested in: 

  • offshore large-scale energy storage by gravity, through the company MGH®; 
  • industrial energy performance via utilization renewable energies (particularly solar thermal) and implementation of energy efficiency strategies, through the company SUNTI®. 

Turbine design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance for offshore and other Marine renewable energy 



Adwen is the AREVA-Gamesa joint venture dedicated to offshore wind. It is responsible for the design, manufacturing, installation, commissioning and services of offshore wind turbines. Combining both Gamesa and AREVA wind expertise and extensive track-record, Adwen is ideally positioned to become a leading player in the offshore wind segment, with the objective of garnering a market share of close to 20% in Europe by 2020. 

Adwen benefits from a technology proven at sea since 2009 and a 630MW installed base offshore offering an invaluable return on experience for futher development. 

In France, Adwen already has a 1.5 GW project portfolio, comprising the Saint-Brieuc, Yeu- Noirmoutier and Dieppe Le Tréport projects. The joint-venture, pursuing the commitments initiated by AREVA, plans the creation of factories in Normandy and the implementation of a network of suppliers and partners throughout the country. 



With 30 years of experience in wind power, Alstom delivers comprehensive solutions, from wind farm design and supply to wind turbine installation and maintenance. Alstom offers a wide range of onshore wind turbines with a capacity of 1.67 MW – 3 MW. To date, the Group has installed 3, 700 wind turbines in more than 300 wind farms, with a total capacity of more than 7 GW. 

Also active in the area of offshore wind power, Alstom is currently building the Haliade 150, the first next-generation offshore wind turbine with a capacity of 6 MW. With the Haliade™ 150 - 6 MW, Alstom has become the exclusive supplier of the consortium led by EDF EN for projects located on the western coast of France in Saint- Nazaire, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp, encompassing a total of around 238 wind turbines. 

The concrete implementation of an industrial plan to create a French sector of excellence in offshore wind power has started with the installation of 4 plants in Saint-Nazaire and Cherbourg in the coastal region of Brittany. It will be supplemented from September 2013 by an Alstom engineering and R&D centre based in Nantes dedicated to Marine Renewable Energy. These resources are complemented by an engineering centre located in Nantes and dedicated to Renewable Marine Energies (offshore wind and tidal power), the only one of its kind in France. 

Devoted to the development of tidal power technologies (harnessing the potential of tidal currents), and following the successful trials on a 500 kW turbine, Alstom tested a 1 MW tidal turbine(1) in different operational conditions since 2013 which successfully injected over 1.2 GWh of electricity to the grid. Building on this extensive experience, Alstom developped an efficient, cost-effective and easy to maintain tidal technology: the Oceade™ 18 - 1.4 MW and has been chosen in December 2014 to supply four of the turbines, as well as an Alstom electrical subsea hub, for a tidal energy pilot farm at Raz Blanchard. 

Pioneering the way in the development of complete tidal power solutions, Alstom has extended this offering to a unique Oceade™ tidal platform concept which helps you maximize the use of tidal stream resources according to local conditions. 

(1) Part of the ReDAPT (Reliable Data Acquisition Platform for Tidal) consortium project, implemented and co-funded by the Energy Technologies Institut (ETI). 


Saipem is a leader in the execution of turnkey contracts (engineering, management, procurement, construction and installation) for large offshore and onshore projects in the area of energy and maritime infrastructures, with unique capabilities in design and construction and a fleet of specialized vessels. 

Renewables energies represent a new area of development. Saipem has conducted numerous feasibility studies and participates in tenders for offshore wind farms. Saipem is also a partner of the tidal turbine project Sabella. 

The group employs over 40,000 people including 2,500 in France (in its headquarter of Saint- Quentin-en-Yvelines and in regional offices through its subsidiary Sofresid). 

Establishing an industry creates an opportunity for a country. This is the angle of approach being adopted by numerous maritime players, such as: Ameris France, Bretagne Pôle Naval, Bureau Veritas, CERVVAL, CRÉOCÉAN, DAHER, DCNS, Les pôles de compétitivité mer, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, Neopolia, SDI, STX, VDC Offshore, etc.