Thanks to a recent government decree, over the next seven years, the French government intends to push 100 MW of installed tidal, wave and floating wind capacity and to have awarded tenders for a further 200 MW to 2GW.

These ambitions which were stated by Government decree on 24 April 2016 are part of the country’s ‘energy transition’ plan, which has been under development since 2009. France has been a slow starter, especially when compared to its near neighbour the UK, when it comes to developing its undoubtedly huge ocean energy potential. A traditionally heavy reliance on nuclear power and a lack of political will has delayed the relative rush to alternative energy sources seen in other European countries. The news that such an influential European government has plans to enlarge the sector and is now awarding tenders to do so should provide a boost in confidence for potential investors.

Welcoming the publication of the objectives by the French authorities, Jacopo Moccia, Ocean Energy Europe Policy Director, said “The French have now fully quantified their ambitions for ocean energy. With the first tidal demonstration projects at the Raz Blanchard expected to kick-off in the next couple of years, the ocean energy industry and investors, now, have some visibility on where the French ocean energy market is going in the short and medium-term.”

Jake Frith