COME3T

Committee of experts for offshore renewable energies environmental issues

Duration: Since 2018

Context

Throughout the life of offshore renewable energy projects, from the initial application phase to decommissioning and in-service monitoring, legislation requires consideration of the potential impacts of these projects on the environment and the use of the marine environment. Numerous questions arise for stakeholders (French State, regional authorities, developers, etc.) on the relevant environmental issues to be considered.

Since 2018, the COME3T initiative brings together a set of French ORE stakeholders to address environmental issues to a panel of neutral and independent experts. The questions addressed are based on the issues identified by the sector and on public questions on the development of marine renewable energy in France.

Objectives

  • Provide expertise, synthesis and recommendations on the identification of environmental priority issues related to the development of ORE through the establishment of a neutral and independent experts committee.
  • Install a national and unique network of experts that can be consulted by all ORE stakeholders.

Functioning and organisation

COME3T is coordinated by France Energies Marines, which acts as an interface between a steering committee, which prioritises the issues to be addressed, and the expert committees, which provide scientific knowledge.

The steering committee brings together all the COME3T project partners. It brings together a wide range of public and private stakeholders divided into different groups (clusters and consultancies, power grid developers, NGOs, French State and government institutions, regional and local authorities, universities, park developers). It is this steering committee that collectively selects the scientific topics to be addressed and ensures the independence and neutrality of the expert committees by studying the applications.

The expert committees bring together scientists selected by the steering committee for their expertise and knowledge of the subject. For each new topic addressed, a national call for applications is sent to the COME3T project partners and scientific networks (universities, research and excellence laboratories, chairs, etc.) in order to form a group of 3 to 5 scientific experts. The aim of each expert committee is to examine the question posed in depth and to classify the topic according to the associated environmental issue:

  • “No environmental issue identified”,
  • “Environmental issue identified, but sufficient level of knowledge”,
  • “Potential environmental issue and insufficient level of knowledge, requiring the launch of new studies”

Summaries in the form of richly illustrated didactic bulletins presenting the scientific information justifying such a classification are drawn up for each proposed topic. These bulletins are then used as a basis for the development of short videos.

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In 2020, the second phase of the COME3T project was launched for a total budget of 176 k€ from public (blue) and private (orange) investments. This new phase brings together 19 partners, including 9 financial partners. These 19 partners, divided into 8 main colleges, sit on the steering committee and participate in the monitoring of the project.

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Treated topics

Phase 1 (2018-2019)

Bulletins

  • Can bottom-fixed wind farms generate dangerous waves?
  • Does the colonisation of ORE farms facilitate the introduction and spread of non-native species?

Videos (in French only)

  • Dangerous waves
  • Ballast water
  • Relay effect
  • Impact waves

Phase 2 (2020 – 2022)

Bulletins

  • The reef effect of windfarms and their connection
  • How to assess the impacts of an operational windfarm on marine mammals?
  • In order to study the effect of noise from windfarms projects on marine ecosystems, is it relevant to work on a few taxa?
  • Can the installation and operation of marine renewable energy influence the evolution of the coastline?

Background

Phase 1: 12 partners including 7 financial partners. Production of 2 didactic bulletins and 4 short videos over 12 months.

Phase 2: 19 partners including 9 financial partners. Production of 8 didactic bulletins and 8 short videos over 18 months.

Resources

Project sheet (PDF)

COME3T Bulletin N°2 – Non-indigenous species (PDF)

COME3T Bulletin N°1 – Dangerous waves (PDF)

Press release – 25/02/20 (PDF)

Photo credit: Brook / AdobeStock

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