Norway is looking to expand its offshore wind drive with a new initiative to establish additional areas for future activity and energy production.
The process is expected to take around two years, led by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).
“We have listened to the industry, and we know making more acreage available is important. Therefore, the government will initiate a process of identifying new areas for offshore wind production and conduct an impact assessment of these areas,” said minister of petroleum and energy Tina Bru.
Last year, Norway opened two areas for offshore wind, Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord.
Development of offshore wind in Norway is now entering a new era
Sørlige Nordsjø II will be developed without government support. Norway plans to announce the auction in Q1 2022 and to award two or three project areas based on a two-stage process.
For Utsira Nord, floating offshore wind is the only eligible technology, and the Norwegian government has proposed to allocate at least three projects of up to 500 MW.
“Because the challenges are different, the process for granting licenses will be different at Utsira Nord. Considering the current cost of floating wind, any large scale project at Utsira Nord will require state aid to be commercially viable. With this in mind, we do not think auctions are the right approach for this area,” minister Bru said.
Going forward, Norway will establish an offshore wind collaboration forum, bringing together industry leaders, public authorities, the research community, industrial clusters, users of the ocean space and additional relevant stakeholders.
“The development of offshore wind in Norway is now entering a new era. We are now laying down the ground work to facilitate large scale development of offshore wind in Norwegian waters.
“This will contribute to the energy transition we need, and at the same time create jobs, activity, and new innovations,” Bru said.