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France Energies Marines: Scientific & Technical Conference


Symbole FEM FEM presented its first results and perspectives at its Scientific & Technical Conference

Symbole FEM

The National Reference Institute of R&D on marine energies presented its first results and prospects at its Scientific & Technical Conference.



Le Havre, March 22, 2017

A real success for France Energies Marines for its first Scientific & Technical Forum, held on March 21 in Le Havre in the run-up to the Seanergy convention. Dedicated to the research and development projects that the Institute undertakes in collaborative form with the major players in the sector, and which benefit from co-financing provided by the National Research Agency as part of the Future Investment Programme (16 projects, €14 million operated and €7 million in state support), this forum was an opportunity to share a selection of key topics.

Estimating much more precisely the energy that can be extracted from a hydroelectric site, optimizing the design of a floating wind turbine or even an EMR machine park, and developing the methods used for impact studies on the flora and fauna of the seabed are concrete projects that demonstrate the need and interest for collaborative work between industrialists, local partners and research institutes.

About 150 participants, specialists in the field, were present today in Le Havre to share these research efforts and generate new ideas. The President of the Wavec (Portuguese research institute), with his experience in sea trials of wave and floating wind systems, introduced the day with a very informative vision. The successive thematic round tables allowed the intervention of very complementary points of view between the academic and industrial worlds.

The Vice-President of the Normandy Region, Hubert de Jean de la Bathie, host of this forum, reaffirmed on behalf of all GEF member local authorities, the interest of a dedicated national structure, preceding the announcement by the ANR, at the end of the day, of a confirmation of the State's desire to agree on France Energies Marines as an Institute for the Energy Transition.


About the March 21 Tribune Conference

Around the four major themes of the MRE roadmap, this forum was an opportunity to show, based on concrete projects, the interest of the collaborative approach led by France Energies Marines:

  • Characterization of a hydrolien site, example Raz Blanchard: 3 projects in progress to finely characterize tidal flows and particle transport in this extremely turbulent site. A knowledge necessary for estimating the productive energy on site and for refining the design of the machines to adapt them to such an aggressive environment.
  • Knowledge and consideration of the impact of MRE on the marine environment: machines installed or anchored to the seabed and the cables that connect them to the network are likely to cause impacts on benthic flora and fauna (installed on the seabed). Initial projects are developing appropriate methodologies for initial assessment and monitoring to answer understandable questions about impact prediction and mitigation.
  • Design tools dedicated to floating wind power: in a sector that is developing at an accelerated pace worldwide, design tools are evolving by taking into account all the efforts made on these systems, both on and under the sea. The projects focus on physical models (basin models) and numerical simulations.
  • Optimizing the position and connection of machines in a business park: a first decision support software addresses the very complex issue of the relative positioning of machines in a park, by studying the effects of wakes, anchorages, connections, and this throughout the installation and operation cycle of the systems.

The day began with an outside perspective, that of Professor Antonio Sarmento, President of WavEC Offshore Renewables, who presented the feedback from the sea trials for floating wind turbines and wave power off Portugal, which allowed the identification of new technological barriers and impacts. A. Sarmento also shared with us his vision of research on MRE in Europe and the desirable mutualisations at the service of the sector.

Hubert de Jean de la Bathie, Vice-President of the Normandy Region, host of this forum, reaffirmed on behalf of all GEF member local authorities, the interest of a national structure dedicated during a final high point devoted to the transversal activities carried out by France Energies Marines for the benefit of all the actors in the sector. They are conducted through expertise, representation and the establishment of international collaborations: the other testimonies expressed come from the Mer Bretagne Atlantique competitiveness cluster, which has reported on cross-actions with France Energies Marines, from the academic field through the EMR Research Group, from Bureau Veritas to support developments towards certification, from OERA in Nova Scotia with whom strong cooperation seems promising.

Finally, Loïc Bordais, head of the program of the Institutes of Energy Transition (ITE) at the ANR, concluded this day on a very positive note, confirming the State's willingness to immediately open the convention procedure of France Energies Marines as a full-fledged ITE, which allows the allocation of multi-year co-financing guaranteed at least until 2025 by the Investments of the Future.

This work was supported by the State managed by the National Research Agency as part of the Future Investments programme.

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