AND INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION
AND INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION
The advantages of developing renewable marine energy are two-fold: contributing to the energy transition movement and developing a new industrial sector in France.
OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES:
The International Energy Agency estimates renewable marine energy potential at 20,000 to 90,000 terawatts/hour, meaning it could potentially single-handedly cover the entire planet’s needs (approximately 16,000 terawatts/hour). Boasting around 5,000km of shoreline, with a third located in Brittany alone, mainland France enjoys Europe’s second greatest renewable marine energy potential. By 2050, offshore wind turbines could generate twice as much electricity as nuclear plants, provided we can develop the right technology adapted to each specific marine environment.
FLOATING WIND TURBINES: A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY IN SEVERAL MARITIME SECTORS
Offshore turbines anchored to the seabed are currently the most technologically-advanced solutions. In France, several projects are underway with a total potential of 6,000 MW, 500 MW of which are to be produced in the Saint-Brieuc Bay. Yet this technology requires shallow waters and coastal proximity. Other technologies are being investigated, such as thermal energy to be essentially generated in warm waters, tidal energy that requires high winds and tides, ocean wave energy and osmotic energy, in which the combined powers of sea water and freshwater are harnessed. Yet all these technologies require very specific environments.
TECHNOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
One major challenge is ensuring this emerging technology is both profitable and reliable, testing it in real conditions before developing an entire industrial sector on a national and international scale. This was the thinking behind the ADEME ‘EOLFLO’ call for projects, for which the floating wind farm at Groix Belle-Ile was selected. When this technology has reached a more mature stage, floating turbines may be used to supply people around the world with renewable energy. Thanks to the Groix Belle-Ile floating wind farm, Breton locals may be the very first to enjoy this new type of energy.
ADVANTAGES OF FLOATING WIND TURBINES
- Strong, constant winds on the high seas.
- More powerful wind turbines and the potential for larger farms in the long term.
- Extended life-span thanks to onshore machine repairs and renovations.
Limited visual impact and conflicts of use:
- Far from the coast as less depth-related constraints.
- Far from coastal fishing areas and leisure zones.
- Far from zones used for radars and semaphore.
- Foundations and turbines built and assembled on land.
- No construction required at sea or under water.
The development of a new job-creating sector:
- New jobs in the offshore wind turbine industrial sector.
- New professions as a result of anchor and float construction needs.