As of 2002, the Secretariat General of the Sea recommended that offshore wind power be developed in France.
In 2005, when the Marine Competitiveness Clusters were created, the Marine Renewable Energies theme was part of their strategic roadmap.
In 2007, the blue paper for an integrated maritime policy for the European Union reasserted Europe's will to develop MREs.
In 2008, Ifremer published a forward-study for 2030 presenting how marine energies could be developed according to four scenarios characterising various political and economic environments.
Also in 2008, studies began for IPANEMA, the national partnership initiative for the emergence of marine energies, bringing together over 130 MRE stakeholders. They led to a series of recommendations to develop the MRE value chain.
In 2009, the Grenelle consultative fora and summit meetings for the environment and the sea, pursued the collective construction of a national strategy for MREs.
Amongst the recommendations made, was the urgent need to create a national technological platform for marine renewable energies, acting as a catalyst for partnership-based research and coordinating the setting up of test sites at sea which are essential for validating these technologies.
In 2009, the French government took up the project with determination, stating that Brest would be its focal point and charging Ifremer to organize the setting up of the project. The financing of this operation, as is the case for all State contributions for initiatives to build test sites, will fall under the Investments for the Future programme.
In 2010, in response to the call for projects on Institutes of Excellence in Carbon-free Energy (IEED), a particularly broad-based PPP or public-private-partnership, was created, thus embodying the initial national ambition. The France Energies Marines project was filed in March 2011…
… leading to the official label granted on 9 March 2012. The amount of matched or co-funding granted is €34.3m, for an operational budget of some €130m over 9 years.
On 15 March 2012, the interim organization called "Association de Préfiguration de l’IEED France Energies Marines" was created in Brest, with the following objectives:
- The project's receiving contractual approval from the French national research agency ANR, i.e. the body which manages IEEDs
- Setting up the definitive organization, which will be a public interest grouping or GIP
- Launching the first research projects
- Carrying out the necessary work for the operational setting up of test sites
As of 15 March 2013, the France Energies Marines team is comprised of 12 research scientists, engineers and admin staff.