The climate challenge


The fight against global warming has become a priority.

The United Nations Convention on Climate Change, adopted during the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, acknowledged the impact of human activities on the present climate disturbances and the fact that acting now was of the essence. The Conference of Parties (COP) convenes once a year, bringing together all sinatory states (196 countries) to set objectives and means of action.

France hosted the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015. Its ambition was to obtain an agreement to maintain the objective of containing global warming within 2°C. Beyond taht, scientists estimate at 30%, the number of world species that could disappear from the planet.

Europe committed to the following target: by 2020, a reduction by 20% of its greenhouse gases and an increase by 20% in the share of consumed renewable energies.

France is contributing to the global and European effort. In July 2015, France approved an Act on the energy transition for green growth. It set ambitious objectives: by 2030, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and bring down by 30% its consumption of fossil energy. To meet these objectives, the share of renewable energies in the final energy mix will be 32% by 2030 and 40% for the production of electricity.

To boost the development of the first renewable energy farms, France launched an unparalleled programme in 2011.
It scheduled the construction of 1,200 offshore wind turbines to supply 3.5% of the electricity consumption and bring energy to over 4.5 million households.

A number of development zones were earmarked along the coast: Saint-Nazaire, Courseulles-sur-Mer, Fécamp, Saint-Brieuc, Dieppe-Le Tréport, and between the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier. Two successive public tenders - one in2011 and one in 2013 -  identified the industrial firms able to construct and operate these first offshore wind farms.

At the same time, in September 2013 in Cherbourg, the President of the French Republic launched the development of the nascent tidal turbine industry. In this contexte, two pilot farms will be constructed in 2017/2018 in the Blanchard Race, off the Cotentin coast.

France has started its energy shift. Marine Renewable Energies play an active role in this paradigm shift.


Tidal Today: France declares its tidal energy potential
West Normandy Marine Energy president François Piquet and Ports of Normandy chief executive Jean Michel Sevin discuss developments at France’s foremost tidal power hub.

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