Emerging market, great potential
Already a world-class expert in naval defence and a leading prime contractor for the design, delivery, integration and maintenance of naval systems, DCNS is now an innovator in energy. More specifically, the Group aims to play a leading role in the emerging field of marine renewable energy (MRE). Although still at an early stage, the MRE market offers excellent prospects and is expected to grow to several billion euros per annum.
To reach this ambition, the first step is to invest in R&D projects leading to prototypes, pilot plants construction in the mid-term. These projects will serve as precursors to industrial scale-up and applications. Other initiatives to promote and expand the Group’s role in MRE are in line with the provisions of legislation arising from France’s Grenelle de la Mer marine environment summit. In late 2009, DCNS set up a MRE business unit, named “MRE incubator” in Brest, a long steeped town in maritime and naval excellence.
The incubator aims to expand R&D and investment in marine renewable energy. By bringing together the expertise and resources of DCNS and its partners, the incubator will develop then scale up MRE technologies. The first projects include: the WINFLO floating wind turbine to be set up off the coast of Brittany, a tidal stream turbine farm for a site on the Channel and the ‘PAT ETM’, energy production system test bench of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).
Cutting-edge skills, clear objectives
Building on over 350 years’ experience in naval shipbuilding and in-depth understanding of marine environments, DCNS and its partners are now ready and eager to play a key role in this emerging market. The Group is investing in four sustainable marine energies:
- Offshore wind (floating and fixed)
- Tidal stream energy
- Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)
- Wave energy.
The DCNS research strategy is designed to give the Group an extensive technology portfolio. This focus mainly covers the technological building blocks needed to strengthen the competitiveness of the Group’s four marine energy technologies, such as energy storage and electricity transmission. DCNS is also studying areas that may generate disruptive technologies, such as the combined production of various energy sources and the use of bio-algae or osmosis.