S2E2, the Smart Electricity Cluster, is the hub for competitiveness in the “intelligent” electricity generation sector. Linking a network of businesses along a line drawn from Saint-Nazaire in the west to Orleans in the centre of France, S2E2 unites and supports professionals as they innovate in the sector. Rachel Guilloteau, ?technology adviser to S2E2, outlines its work in the marine renewables sector.
What is the mission of S2E2?
“The S2E2 competitiveness cluster helps businesses with every stage of the innovation process, from raising awareness of the latest innovations to extracting value in the closing period of a project, passing by way of assistance with market analysis, project startups and finance, networking, and training. We have approved 290 projects since 2005.”
More specifically, what actions have been taken for the marine renewables sector?
“In 2013, we set up a new area of strategic activity dedicated to the marine renewable energies. Since we alerted our members to this new market, we have launched many initiatives. These have included sending professional delegations to the Scandinavian countries, market research that reaches out to potential customers, business introductions, participation at conferences, and fostering collaborative R&D projects, where we work closely with EMC2.”
Focussing on the R&D side, what is the expertise of the competitiveness cluster?
“S2E2 has particular experience with the problem of connecting offshore farms to the grid, an innovative field which presents numerous technical constraints. We have developed good links with the RTE (Réseau de Transport d’Electricité, EDF subsidiary responsible for maintenance and operation of the French national grid). By bringing together cross-cutting skills, the cluster eases the integration of the marine renewable energies in the global energy mix. There are also projects underway exploring energy self-sufficiency and the “network of things” which should help the sector improve its management of wind farms, marine turbines and wave generators offshore.”
Further information: www.s2e2.fr