Tidal energy

Tidal EnergyTidal energy, or tidal turbines when referring to the devices, is one of the technologies for harnessing energy from the sea, along with offshore wind (land-based or floating wind), wave energy and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) in the context of Marine Renewable Energy or MRE.

Tidal turbines are located offshore and can be installed either on the seabed with fixed foundations or on floating foundations connected to the seabed with anchoring systems. Tidal turbines operate on a similar principle to wind turbines, but underwater: they use the kinetic energy of ocean currents to transform it into mechanical energy via blades and then into electricity via an electrical generator. Although the majority of tidal turbines have a horizontal axis around which the blades rotate, some technologies favour a vertical axis of rotation. Because of their location at sea, tidal turbines must withstand severe marine conditions.

In the long term, the objective is to install tidal arrays (or tidal farms) comprising dozens of multi-megawatt units. To date, single demonstrators and a few pilot farms comprising 3 to 5 units have been deployed in Europe, Asia and the United States. According Ocean Energy Europe, a cumulative 27.9 MW of tidal energy projects have been deployed in Europe between 2010 and 2020. 10.1 MW were still in operation at the end of 2020 and 17.8 MW have been decommissioned as projects have successfully completed their testing programmes. A target of 40 GW of ocean energy (wave, tidal, ocean thermal energy and floating solar) has been set in Europe for 2050 according to the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy.

WEAMEC has selected more than 70 research projects related to marine renewable energy, including tidal energy, and has accompanied his members in 15 new European innovation projects. Finally, stakeholders from the Pays de la Loire Region deliver more than 80 initial trainings as well as continuous training from operator to engineer covering all the skills useful to the development of the tidal sector.

WEAMEC continuous training, operated by Centrale Nantes and the University of Nantes, is intended for those whose, established in the marine renewable energy market, wish to improve their skills, as well as those whose wish to retrain and enter the emerging tidal sector. This unique training at the French level has been in operation since 2016.