ELEMENT: D12.3 French Estuary Site Assessment

Published: 7 October 2021

This work was realized to satisfy deliverable D12.3 as part of the work package 12 of the ELEMENT project (Grant agreement 815180). It aims to assess French estuary and river sites’ potential for tidal stream energy projects.

To achieve this work a multicriteria analysis was performed, including evaluation of technical criteria (such as current velocity, potential, and water depth), socio-economic criteria (such as employment and gross added value created), regulation applicable to France (coastline regulation, Natura2000), human activities (including fishery or recreational boating) and environmental parameters (migratory fishes). Two specific methodologies, presented in this study, were applied to assess the site potential for tidal stream energy projects, and evaluate local benefits (gross added value and jobs). In addition, stakeholders were interviewed to collect their opinion on the attractivity of France regarding tidal energy.

This study underlined the lack of information freely available regarding parameters of interest, particularly for estuaries and rivers. Consequently, some nearshore locations, for which more data are available, have been included in the study.

Multicriteria analysis showed that most of the potential is concentrated in nearshore locations such as in the Alderney Race, The Raz-de-Sein or Fromveur Passage. However, it revealed interest of smaller locations in estuaries and rivers such as the Gironde Estuary and Gulf of Morbihan. Interviews have identified other locations such as isolated sites (islands) or industrial sites. Some sites appeared to be less interesting for project development as underlined by some stakeholders such as Arcachon bay and Adour River. The final grades are 72.4 (Raz de Sein), 71.9 (Paimpol-Bréhat), 69.4 (Alderney Race), 68.9 (Fromveur passage), 67.3 (Raz-Barfleur), 59.7 (Passage de la Jument and Pont de Pierre Garonne), 58.2 (Etel river), 46.9 (Adour) and 42.3 (Arcachon Bay).