MBA Renewables

Sylvain Pichon

Master's thesis

The energy transition as a green growth driver for the port of Marseille Fos: renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency

Professional background

Projects and marketing manager for energy transition and industrial development within the Port of Marseille Fos : floating offshore wind turbines, photovoltaic, energy storage (power to gas), industrial energy efficiency (steam network), CO2 recycling, innovation.

Advice for future students

"To be determined, enduring and open minded in order to build the best balance between MBA, professional and personal lives throughout this academic marathon. Do not hesitate to participate at the on campus time in Berlin!".

Experience with the MBA Renewables

"This MBA has allowed me to develop my skills and my culture related to the energy transition through a 360 ° angle overview. My credibility and technical and economic capacities have been gradually reinforced by a high-level generalist training course enabling very enriching international meetings".


Abstract of the thesis:

The decline of the refinery industries, that made the port of Marseille Fos strength and growth through decades, requires to diversify and rethink port economic models in order to remain an engine of sustainable development, generating training effects on the whole value chain of the territory. The common denominator of these new development pipelines is the energy transition and the search for new growth. In this context, the harbor has many assets to become the cradle of the industrial developments supporting the energy transition.
The two guiding principles in order to conduct these development actions on the port are the following:

  • Energy efficiency and sobriety,
  • Diversification of the energy mix and developing renewable energy.
These principles have been applied on the energy production and on the energy consumption sides aiming to achieve two kings of objectives:
  • Socio-economic objectives : increasing the revenues for the port and its territory, and developing non outsourced jobs,
  • Environmental objectives: decreasing CO2 and particles (Nox, Sox) emission.
The operational leverages to achieve these purposes will be to develop on the port energetic arena two kinds of applications linked to the energy transition:
  • some energetic services dealing with renewable energy production (photovoltaic, geothermal, …), and energy management; storage, carrier and recovery facilities (steam network, smart grid, …),
  • some new innovative industrial sectors (floating offshore wind turbine, bio sources industries, …) aiming to implement on the port area a complete or partial value chain (industrial and logistic facilities), for local, national and international radiance with a higher job creation ability.
The thesis demonstrates that the potential development (27 market segments identified) can generate for the port and its territory three type of economic added value within the next 10 or 15 years:
  • direct economic value that will create direct green growth thanks to the energetic services and the innovative sector deployment,
  • indirect economic value created by the competitiveness resulting from the previous development by offering a clean, price stable, and competitive energy and services,
  • induced economic value created by marketing radiance and assuring a good level attractiveness and visibility for business development.
The first quantitative approach developed in the thesis demonstrates that these developments can produce for example the following results over the next 10-15 years : more than 20M€/year of new port revenues, a cumulated production power of 1400 MW of clean energy (electrical and thermal), a reduction of about 1MT of CO2 production, the development of around 2 000 new jobs related to energy transition.