International energy diversification and sustainable development policy: The increasing scarcity and soaring costs of fossil fuels are leading all countries to promote the diversification of energy production modes, incorporating them within a sustainable development approach, to promote a drop in greenhouse gas emissions. The various international summits for the planet have allocated renewable energy production quotas to their participants, within different timeframes.
EEC: The proposal for a new European directive, published on 23 January 2008, mandates each Member State to increase its share of renewable energies in an effort to boost the EU's share from 8.5% today to 20% by 2020.
GRENELLE: The "Climate and Energy" package is set to increase France’s renewable share to 23% (7.7% in 2008, of which the majority was from wood and hydraulic sources) by 2020, with two strategic targets: autonomy and decentralisation, wherever possible.
The quest to maximise clean energies is confronted with issues of social acceptance for wind power, economic constraints for costly solar energy, risk management and cost-related issues for nuclear, as well as the complexity of grid integration, their production potential and their predictability.
The ocean which covers 68% of the surface of our planet is a natural, inexhaustible energy source. The combined effect of the moon and the sun creates powerful tidal currents that can be harnessed today through clean technologies.
• French policy to promote marine energies in a diversified energy mix
• 6 GW marine energy target (offshore wind farms, tidal turbines, wave power, OTEC) by 2020
• Introduction of public support for research via a programme dedicated to marine energies under “Investissements d’Avenir” managed by ADEME. Eligibility notification given to 5 projects in late 2010 and to the IEED institute “France Energies Marines”.
Tidal current energies: A sustainable, predictable, high density energy source, with low space requirements and socially accepted deepsea technologies.
Exploitation of tidal current potential indispensable for meeting the terms of European and national renewable energy targets.
Huge potential: around 100 GW gloablly; around 20 GW in Europe; 3 to 5 GW in France.
In the near future, SABELLA is set to put forward hydrokinetic energy development schemes through high power tidal turbine farms interconnected with the continental grid after conversion and transformation. These farms should contribute to States’ clean energy production targets. These major projects will enable this sector to rapidly reach industrial maturity and operating costs similar to those of offshore wind farms.