First FWP Atlantic Forum: the west, pioneer of French floating wind power

26 Oct 2016
Conferences in Brest

The first edition of the Floating Wind Power Atlantic Forum has just closed its doors. The two-day event, held in Brittany and Pays de la Loire, welcomed 280 participants and 50 international speakers. This was a successful start for a unique dual regional partnership dedicated to the development of a promising technology: floating wind power.

On October 12 and 13, the first FWP Atlantic Forum was held in Brest and Nantes Saint-Nazaire. This new international event dedicated to floating wind power welcomed 280 participants from 11 different countries. The remaining entrepreneurs, but also researchers and around 30 students, including from Norway and Portugal!

Organised by the economic development agencies of Brittany and the Pays de la Loire, the Forum marks the beginning of a strong partnership between the two West Atlantic regions in the field of floating wind power. The aim: to boost the development of this technology and to highlight local businesses internationally.

Business conferences

The conference program was highly focused on the current configuration of the worldwide market and gathered 50 international experts for both days of the event. Representatives of all installed projects (Japan, Scotland, Norway and Portugal) answered the invitation, as did players from the US (including the University of Maine where work is being conducted on a prototype floating wind platform), from Asia and from several European countries.

The FWP Atlantic Forum was an opportunity to cover all the areas where there is development of floating wind turbines in the world. This was notably an original mini-lectures format consisting of project reviews. This difficult yet fascinating exercise brought together many contributions from project developers and experts.

Business meetings and technical visits

As a crossroads of international exchanges between professionals in the floating wind power sector, the FWP Atlantic Forum also favoured business meetings. Of course there was networking, but also 100 BtoB meetings organised by the Enterprise Europe Network, uniting 57 participants.

On October 14, technical visits were held in Pays de la Loire. Limited to the first 60 participants to register (including 30% foreigners), the course gave you three major sites: the Floatgen demonstrator, the first floating wind platform in France (project led by the École Centrale de Nantes, Ideol and Bouygues TP), the St Nazaire factories of STX France as well as the Technocampus Ocean (hosting the group consisting of: Technocampus, DCNS, IRT Jules Verne, the CEA Tech, FMGC and WEamec).

A new MRE field is born

Floating wind power is already a reality abroad when it comes to demonstrators and pilot farms and is quickly developing in France because of a government policy aimed at accelerating deployment.

A rapid implementation of the industry is indeed essential to allow French players to remain level with international competition, but also with other renewable energy sources. The ADEME call for projects to establish pilot farms has also been broadened with the expansion of the financial envelope which was increased from € 150 million to € 320 million.

Ultimately, the challenge is to develop profitable wind farms. To achieve this, there is still some way to go in order to lower production costs and develop sustainable industrialisation patterns.

More information:

Next edition in 2017.