DCNS, a world leader in naval defence. An innovative player in energy.
The analysis of the renewable marine energy sector showed that, from a technological and industrial point of view, there were major synergies with the naval defence sector, the historical core business of DCNS. The Group’s know-how, its industrial resources and expertise allow DCNS to play a leading role over the entire production cycle for these new systems, from design and construction to maintenance. This development forms part of the Group’s strategy for growth. By the end of the decade, DCNS aims to achieve one-third of its sales in the energy sector.
Today, By increasing its share of OpenHydro’s capital, the DCNS group is now moving on from a development phase to an industrial phase in its renewable marine energy activities. A major challenge to be addressed initially will be the industrialisation of the innovative solution designed by OpenHydro. With this in mind, a Business Unit Energies Marines Renouvelables (EMR) (Renewable Marine Energy Business Unit) has been set up in order to group together the OpenHydro activity and DCNS’s own marine energy activities currently undergoing development (floating wind turbines, ocean thermal energy, wave energy).
DCNS, proof to the fourth degree
DCNS is investing in the four main renewable marine energy technologies:
- the tidal energy generated using underwater turbines known as “tidal turbines”, which convert the energy of marine tidal streams into electricity; The ambition of DCNS is to achieve annual sales of at least a billion euros by 2025 in the tidal energy market. Several tens of thousands of turbines are expected to be installed eventually worldwide. OpenHydro, a DCNS company, is developing an innovative marine turbine making it possible to generate electricity at a competitive price and has already formed commercial partnerships with several customers.
- the ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) technology that exploits the difference in temperature between the arm surface water of tropical oceans and the cold water found in the ocean depths to generate electrical power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; At the start of 2012, DCNS installed an OTEC land-based prototype at University Saint Pierre in Réunion. This scale model of the energy generation system of a future OTEC plant contributes to confirming the value of this technology. The French overseas departments and territories, the Caribbean and Asia could benefit from offers of floating turnkey plants by 2014. In parallel, DCNS is developing a land-based OTEC solution, which may be proposed as early as 2013.
- the offshore wind energy generated by offshore floating wind turbines; DCNS is developing the Winflo technology, which will lead to the realisation of a 1-Megawatt demonstrator. It will be launched in 2014 and connected to the electrical power grid. The realisation of a pilot site will then allow the validation of the economic model before the installation of commercial farms with units of higher power (5 to 7 MW), by 2020, initially in France, then worldwide.
- the wave energy technology which operates on the principle of recovering energy from the ocean swell. In parallel, DCNS is currently evaluating several wave energy technologies, including the WaveRoller technology developed by AW Energy. The Finnish energy company Fortum is a shareholder of AW Energy. In October 2011, Fortum and DCNS signed a letter of intent covering the development of wave energy in France. WaveRoller has been the subject of a feasibility study for an installation on the French Atlantic coast with a view to siting a 1.5 MW demonstration plant.