ÉNERGIE – ELEMENT – Artificial intelligence improving tidal energy

ÉNERGIE – ELEMENT – Artificial intelligence improving tidal energy

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ÉNERGIE – ELEMENT – Artificial intelligence improving tidal energy


The European Union’s ELEMENT project aims to develop artificial intelligence to reduce the maintenance costs of tidal turbines producing renewable energy. By contributing to this project, IDETA expands its expertise in green energy development at the service of communities and opens the door to similar projects in Picardy Wallonia.

ELEMENT (Effective Lifetime Extension in the Marine Environment for Tidal Energy ) is a 5 million € project funded by the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Nova Innovation coordinates a consortium of 11 European partners composed of industrials, academics and researchers, including IDETA.

It’s the fourth EU-funded project dedicated to tidal energy development and led by Nova Innovation. This project complements the work carried out within the framework of the EnFAIT project in which IDETA also participates.

The ELEMENT project uses behavioural modelling and artificial intelligence to optimise the performance of tidal turbines and provides a control system that will reduce the levelized cost of tidal energy by 17%. This reduction in costs is essential if tidal turbines are to become a commercial reality in the future European energy mix.

Started in June 2019, the project ends in May 2022. Its objectives are to:

  • Optimize the design of tidal turbines to improve performance and reduce costs;
  • Better understand the behaviour of the turbine to maximize energy efficiency;
  • Develop and optimize a tidal turbine control system to reduce loads;
  • Increase the resistance of tidal turbines in the marine environment and extend their service life;
  • Minimize environmental impacts by integrating environmental monitoring into the control system;
  • Improve knowledge of the impacts of tidal energy on local communities;
  • Optimise the sharing of expertise and experience gained in relevant European projects;
  • Increase public support for tidal energy projects.

IDETA’s participation
IDETA carries out the analysis of the socio-economic impact of the project (WP 12) and provides advice on marketing and business strategy. The socio-economic evaluation of tidal energy is carried out on several sites, in particular in the Etel estuary (Brittany), but also on other French and European coasts and rivers. The analysis includes feasibility studies for the creation of Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) coupled with the production of tidal electricity. This type of study complements IDETA’s work on the creation of RECs in Picardy Wallonia with citizens (COLECO) and businesses (ZELDA).

The improvement of modelling and the use of artificial intelligence in the framework of the ELEMENT project can be exploited in other renewable energy production systems that could be developed in Picardy Wallonia. The collaboration in the ELEMENT project also allows IDETA to identify new synergies and set up new partnerships beneficial in the long term for Picardy Wallonia.

As an economic player responsible for Picardy Wallonia, IDETA has placed the increase in renewable energy sources and the improvement of energy efficiency at the heart of its priorities, to succeed in the energy transition of the territory and significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Through its participation in the ELEMENT project, IDETA expands its expertise in reducing energy consumption and opens the door to solutions such as the import of electricity and investments in projects outside Picardy Wallonia. The aim is to strengthen the territory’s renewable energy production capacity, which is and will remain below the demand for electricity. In addition, the partnership allows IDETA to guarantee dividend payments to its affiliated municipalities.

This project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 815180.