Marine Renewable Energies roadmap Marine Renewable Energies roadmap

FRANCE, Brittany

by: Regional Council of Brittany and Bretagne Développement Innovation (regional agency for economic development and innovation)  (Public authority, Economic and/or innovation agency)

S3 domain:    Strategic Innovation Action 3- Maritime activities for blue growth – 3B Marine Renewable Energies

Energy topics:    Smart Grids    /    Marine Renewable Energy    /    Energy storage

Innovation type:    Technological    /    System

Level of Good Practice implementation:     Regional 


The Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) roadmap was adopted by the Bretagne Region Council in April 2016. This broad-based regional government policy has a twofold aim: promote the energy transition to bring down the region’s energy dependence while establishing an industrial showcase which is highly visible on the international scene. The roadmap sets the very ambitious goal to cover more than one third of Brittany's electricity consumption in 2030. This highly proactive policy promoting MRE is characterized by a consultative emphasis that brings together all the stakeholders in the industry.

The roadmap addresses five key issues:

  1. Organising MRE coordination and planning for energy and maritime affairs
  2. Supporting projects off the coast of Brittany
  3. Supporting the sector’s economic and industrial dynamic
  4. Investing in the infrastructure required to cater for MRE, particularly creation of an MRE terminal in the port of Brest
  5. Raising the international profile of the region’s MRE offering.

The roadmap sets a very ambitious goal: planning and installing 2 GW of additional capacity by 2030, thus covering more than 33 % of Brittany's electricity consumption in 2030. This will be achieved through:

  • 3 floating wind farms by 2030 (1.5 GW) with 3 GW of exploitable potential, to be developed in 2 large geographical zones off the northwest and southwest coasts of Brittany (consultation ongoing)
  • 2 tidal stream parks (0.6 GW) with 2.2 GW of exploitable potential, to be developed in 2 zones off the west and north coasts of Brittany (consultation ongoing)
  • 2 offshore wind farms (one of which is under construction - 0.5 GW) in northeast Brittany.
Such ambitious goals in terms of energy production from renewable resources represent a major challenge when it comes to anticipating injection into the electricity system and balance management. The development of an additional capacity of several GW by 2020-2030 involves anticipating how intermittent energy integration solutions can be incorporated into power grids, including large-capacity storage and accurate production forecasting solutions. Therefore, the development of smart grids is another key challenge. 
Ever since it signed up to the Breton Electricity Pact in 2010, Brittany Regional Council has been at the forefront of a highly proactive policy promoting Marine Renewable Energy (MRE). Thanks to its strong ocean waves, currents, and winds, Brittany is a region with a high potential for harnessing marine renewable energy. It also enjoys a strong skills base in the maritime industry, which is crucial for growing this emergent sector along with the new technology required. The MRE roadmap was adopted in April 2016 and set objectives for 2030.

Shared governance and collective planning are the key words for the implementation of the MRE roadmap.

The Regional Sea and Coast Conference (Conférence régionale de la mer et du littoral, CRML) and the Regional Energy Transition Conference play a key role in ensuring the involvement of all key stakeholders under the coordination of the Regional Council of Brittany. In-depth coordination with economic stakeholders allows the Region to assist local firms in identifying outlets in major infrastructure projects, within Brittany and beyond, building momentum for international expansion. National authorities, financial institutions, economic and industrial stakeholders, research and academia, local governments, professional organizations for fishing, aquaculture, port activities, shipbuilding and repair, farming, and tourism as well as non-profit associations devoted to the protection of nature and heritage, local residents are all involved at different stages of the decision-making process.

Stakeholders involved in implementation

  •  Public authority
  • Economic and/or innovation agency
  • Energy agency
  • Intermediary
  • Research actors
  • Industry
  • SMEs
  • NGO
  • Civil society 


  • Research actors
  • Industry
  • SMEs
  • Start-ups
  • Other: associations


The following projects are being planned or have been implemented under the MRE roadmap: industrial tidal pilot projects, offshore wind turbine industrial park, offshore floating wind turbine pilot array farm, new transmitted and distributed smartgrid national planification, a MRE terminal in the port of Brest.

Public funding sources

ESIF / Regional Marine Renewable Energy funds / Other Regional funds and national funds:

  • ESIF T04 (low carbon economy)
  • Interreg
  • National Funds
  • Regional Funds
  • Local Funds

Results achieved

  • 2 connected industrial tidal pilot projects (world premiere)
  • 1 offshore wind turbine industrial park in progress (site studies and permit procedure completed)
  • 1 offshore floating wind turbine pilot array farm (4 devices) in progress (site studies and permit procedure completed)
  • 1 project of new transmitted and distributed smartgrid national planning (in progress experimented within the framework of the SMILE smartgrids project)
  • Work on the future MRE terminal in the port of Brest started in January 2017 
  • 1 national call launched for new industrial parks (floating and tidal)

Future perspectives

  • Selection of five broad sites in which future arrays could be located (consultation process underway)
  • 1st island to be powered by MRE and connected to the grids thanks to the use of smart grids (Ushant-Ouessant island, 2018-2020)
  • 1st smart grids global system for MRE at transmitted grid scale (2019-2020 SMILE project and 2020-2030 in full scale)


The involvement of all the relevant socio-economic stakeholders and the capacity to retain local SMEs and help them overcome market-related difficulties are the two most successful elements so far.

In this regard, March 3, 2017 marked a major milestone, with the validation by the Regional Sea and Coast Conference of three favourable sites for tidal stream generators and 2 macro-zones for floating wind power.

Most important difficulties

The biggest challenges when developing such strategies and roadmaps is to anticipate the development of the market, which is still not ready, at least for ocean energy technologies, and to set the targets accordingly.

In the implementation phase, the main difficulty is to help industrials bridge the “valley of death” between R&D/prototype and demonstration and pre-commercial phases. In fact, uncertainties on production levels and maintenance requirements for farms and larger plants remain. These uncertainties imply higher financial risk, preventing access to commercial bank loans and call for investment support from the public sector. 

Lessons learned

In order to overcome such difficulties, it is important to work closely with the industry.

Such an ambitious strategy also calls for the involvement of all the stakeholders, especially the socio-economic ones. The whole value chain needs to be organised in order to push the market demand and be ready to answer to this demand once the market is ready. The support agencies and clusters should play a key role alongside the region in promoting the emergence of R&D, pilot and demonstration projects involving the research, the enterprises (large and SMEs) and the financial institutions.


  • Strategic programme
  • Infrastructure
  • Key actors Platform (for regional cooperation)


  • Relevance to national and/or regional energy strategy
  • Synergetic use of several funds
  • High impact potential
  • Continuous Entrepreneurial Discovery Process
  • Leading to private investments


Contact person:

Jean Michel LOPEZ, Directeur de la coordination Energie Marine :  / (+33) (0)2 99 27 12 01)