DCNS Energies created to enter marine renewable energies market

DCNS Energies tidal turbine

DCNS Group, France’s state-owned naval defense and energy industrial group, and the Industrial Projects Co. today announced the creation of DCNS Energies.

For DCNS Group, the creation of DCNS Energies is a continuation of the research and development work carried out by the group since 2008, and the acquisition of the OpenHydro start-up in 2013, according to a press release.

DCNS Energies is a new industrial entrant in marine renewable energies (MRE). The Industrial Projects Co. is financed by the country’s Investments Program for the Future and managed by French investment bank, Bpifrance. In addition to the DCNS Group and Bpifrance, there are two additional shareholders in the new company, Technip Group and BNP Paribas Development. The four shareholders will provide a total of 100 million Euros (US$105.3 million) in equity for DCNS Energies.

In a press release, DCNS Energies said it will devote its activity to the industrial and commercial development of three technologies for the production of electricity from MRE: Tidal turbine power that uses kinetic energy of sea currents, ocean thermal energy conversion and offshore wind energy via semi-submersible floats.

DCNS Energies said the launch of this subsidiary is dedicated to marine energies, addressing customers and markets other than the naval defense sector, at a key time of market growth. In view of the considerable prospects for expansion in renewable energies (which will represent 26% of the energy mix scheduled for 2020), MREs are intended to complete this mix and to take over from wind and solar energy by offering new environment-friendly and inexhaustible sources of energy, DCNS says.

Herve Guillou, DCNS Group chairman and chief executive officer, said, “The creation of DCNS Energies is part of our strategic action plan, one of whose aims is to apply our technical expertise and generate growth in the employment areas of DCNS in France. By positioning ourselves in the fast-emerging market of MREs, the partnership with Bpifrance, Technip and BNP Paribas will allow us to develop a French sector that creates jobs and added value on a global scale. I am convinced that DCNS Energies will successfully meet the technological and commercial challenges of the sector and achieve its ambition to become a world leader in the marine renewable energies industry.”

France is involved in MRE is several areas. In November, HydroQuest and Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie launched a project to install a 1-MW tidal turbine at the Paimpol-Brehat site in France, beginning in the second half of 2017. The unit is being installed as part of an agreement with French utility EDF, according to a press release, and was selected in France’s “Marine renewable energies and pilot river turbine farms” call for projects, funded by the state in the context of its Investments in the Future Program.

On Aug. 25, 2015, France officially inaugurated the Site d’ Experimentation en Mer  at Le Croisic in Brittany, located on France’s west coast. The site tests marine hydrokinetic energy systems and floating wind turbines in open sea conditions.

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