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A hydroelectric motor at a tidal energy farm, designed by the DCNS group, in the harbor of Brest, France. Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP via Getty Images

The French marine energy company Naval Energies announced this past week that it will stop all investment in its tidal energy business. Naval Energies' subsidiaries, OpenHydro Group and its sister organization OpenHydro Technologies, have entered the liquidation process following the decision.

The bottom line: Naval Energies cited slow growth and a closing of the tidal energy market as a reason for their decision. At the time of investment Naval Energies was expecting the tidal energy sector to mature rapidly, anticipating a turnover of €1 billion by 2025. While the industry still has a great deal of potential, most investors simply don’t have the patience or risk appetite for these technologies.

The Ireland-based OpenHydro was developing a unique turbine design to extract energy from the ocean’s tides. Naval Energies (formerly DCNS) became a majority shareholder back in 2013, following a €260 million strategic investment to help the French company expand into the high-growth market of marine renewables.

At the time of the announcement this past week, the two subsidiaries had debts approaching €280 million and required approximately one million euros per week to stay afloat. However, Naval Energies is not completely abandoning offshore renewables — it's still actively pursuing floating offshore wind and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).

What's next: The announcement comes just a couple of months after OpenHydro unveiled its new factory, capable of producing 25 full-scale tidal turbines each year. One of the facility's turbines was connected to the Canadian grid on July 24, and two days later the European Commission approved a separate seven-turbine tidal demonstration project to be deployed off the Normandy coast. The fate of these two projects is now uncertain.

David Hume is a contractor supporting the marine renewable energy portfolio at the U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office and the founder of The Liquid Grid. The views expressed are his own.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.