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Hydrokinetic power, the innovative energy transition lever

Energy Communities

Hydrokinetic technology, promising lever of energy transition, is at the heart of the sustainable energy development strategy led by GDF SUEZ. Since 2009, the Group implements innovative solutions to take hydrokinetic forward; a clean, inexhaustible and predictable energy.

With a density 800 times superior to air, seawater provides considerable energy.

Moreover, sea currents being predictable, electricity production can be estimated on the long term. Tidal turbines use sea currents’ kinetic energy just as wind turbines use the kinetic energy of wind. The rotors of hydraulic turbines driven by currents’ strength convert this energy into power. Electricity is then channeled by cables to the coast and sent directly to the grid.

France is the second deposit in Europe, behind England. In Europe, this energy potential amounts to 12GW. Within the frame of energy transition, GDF SUEZ develops its hydrokinetic activities. In France, this resource is mainly found between Finistère and Cotentin. As soon as 2009, GDF SUEZ positioned itself as a key player. The Group intends to demonstrate the technical and economic sustainability of the hydrokinetic sector, as well as its large-­‐scale development possibilities, by developing pilot projects.

GDF SUEZ has been chosen by the French government to build an hydrokinetic park in Raz Blanchard (Cotentin-­‐ Lower Normandy region). The construction of this 4 hydraulic turbines’ park is planned to begin in 2017, for a 20-­‐year operational life. GDF SUEZ has also applied to build a second hydrokinetic park in Fromveur (Finistère – Brittany region). Lastly, with the allocation of the Tréport (Upper Normandy region) and the Yeu and Noirmoutier islands’ projects (Pays de Loire region), GDF SUEZ confirms its ambition to develop research on sustainable marine energy.

Source: Hugo Whitemore