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Offshore Renewables in Brittany

While it has been acknowledged that the EU has become a world leader in blue energy, with 90% of offshore wind energy turbines in the world located in EU waters, there is still the need for increased effort in research and development for new technologies in the marine renewable energy sector. In France, after important investments in renewable energy decades ago (e.g. a 265 MW tidal plant built in the 1960s), only a 2MW of offshore wind power has been installed to date. The case study will analyse the development of marine energy in France with a focus on Brittany and aims to investigate the reasons behind slow growth in offshore wind power development. The study will make an inventory of opportunities and obstacles to marine renewables projects in France and use the results to define a future blue growth pathway for marine renewable energy developments in Brittany. This case study is being led by IFREMER.

Blue Growth pathway for marine renewable energy

The sustainable growth of the offshore renewable energy (ORE) sector has become a critical issue for the development of energy supply in the EU and elsewhere. The development of ORE makes a significant contribution to global warming mitigation efforts but raises other sustainability issues which intensify as the sector continues to grow. This study considers the sector as it is developing in the EU, the Atlantic Area, and Brittany (France). The characteristics of the latter region – Brittany is that the ORE sector is currently at an initial start-up phase and there is a strong willingness to support its developments by regional authorities.

The study also identifies the strategies and the main pieces of regulation that frame the growth of the ORE sector. It outlines the wider context of ORE in Brittany as well as the current technology options. Based on public debates organised with developers and stakeholders on specific projects, the study also summarises the main drivers of sustainable blue growth development for the ORE sector and the risks associated with the strategy to be adopted. Finally, it outlines a number of recommendations that might help to support the short, medium, and long term development of the sector.

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