Funding of EUR150 million will be made available to support the emerging technology in what the government sees as a priority sector.
While France is only just creating an industrial base producing fixed-foundation turbines, it is determined to gain an early lead in floating turbine technology.
This is partly in the interest of job creation and partly for practical reasons: because the seabed shelves steeply off the French coast, floating turbines are the only option in many areas.
French designers have been working on floating turbines for a number of years, with four expecting to launch offshore prototypes in the coming years.
First is likely to be Ideol's Floatgen platform equipped with a 2MW Gamesa turbine. The company hopes to install a demonstrator next summer.
Nénuphar and EDF Energies Nouvelles expect to have their prototype 2MW Vertiwind vertical axis turbine ready for installation in 2017, followed shortly by DCNS and Alstom's semi-submersible SeaReed floater, equipped with a Haliade 6MW machine.
Finally, Eolfi is developing another vertical axis concept, with a 5MW turbine, dubbed Spinfloat. Its offshore prototype is scheduled for 2019.