Guide to the environmental impact evaluation of tidal stream technologies at sea

Duration: 11 months (2012 - 2013)


Several methodological guides and environmental impact monitoring protocols exist for bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines. In France, such documents are still few in number and have been drawn up by research institutes, environmental associations or private consulting firms, most often at the request of the French State. On the other hand, tidal turbine technologies are still only at a stage of development and prototype testing. In France, only 3 pilot projects have started recently. Consequently, the environmental studies associated with these projects are carried out without a prior methodological framework, as there is currently no generic protocol to frame this technology in France.


To set up a preliminary methodological guide providing keys for analysing the main potential environmental impacts related to the various marine tidal turbine technologies and recommendations on the choice of location, the description of the initial state and the ecological monitoring of tidal energy projects.

Scientific and technical contents

  • French legislative context for tidal energy sector
  • Guidelines for the description of a tidal energy project
  • Choice of the site
  • Description of the environmental site (physico-chemical, biological) conditions of the installation.
  • Identification and analysis of potential ecological impacts, taking into account: environmental parameters (substrate, hydrodynamics, water quality, etc.), ecosystem compartments (benthos, fish, birds, mammals, etc.), development components (turbine, converter, cables) and the different phases of the project (installation, operation, dismantling)
  • Identification and recommendations for mitigation measures (removal / reduction / compensation)
  • Description of the environmental monitoring program (observation and measurement of impacts)


Guide to the environmental impact evaluation (PDF)

Partners and funding

This project was led by Ifremer and France Energies Marines.

The total project budget was €122K.

This project /received funding from France Energies Marines and its members and partners.

Photo credit: Tiluria / Pixabay

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