French tidal power on the up

The visit to the EMEC enabled French stakeholders to identify the industry’s ‘real-world’ needs The visit to the EMEC enabled French stakeholders to identify the industry’s ‘real-world’ needs

French president, François Hollande, is calling for expression-of-interest to build four tidal power pilot projects to kick off the development of the country’s tidal power sector.

In a bid to boost the sector, representatives from research, training and economic development organisations travelled to Orkney Islands, Scotland, to visit the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), a test and experimentation centre for renewable marine energy.

Laurent Beauvais, president of the Basse-Normandie region, said: "We would like to leverage existing experiments and projects in Europe, in particular EMEC, the major experimental site, to determine how to enhance Normand tidal power potential as quickly as possible, creating added value to this territory which cannot be a mere energy production site."

The visit enabled French stakeholders to identify the industry’s ‘real-world’ needs and plan potential future adaptations in the Basse-Normandie area.

Jean-François Le Grand, president, Manche General Council, added: "Visiting the experimentation centre, EMEC, allows us to better appreciate territorial implications of such a project and to prepare the first tangible applications in Basse-Normandie, in particular in the Manche."

The four proposed sites will each have four to 10 water current turbines and will be built in two high potential areas off the French coast in Raz Blanchard (Basse-Normandie) and Fromveur (Brittany).

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