Norway raises offshore wind ambitions

The Norwegian government has announced plans to support the large-scale roll out of offshore wind. The ambition is that almost as much new power will be produced from offshore wind as the country currently produces. By 2040, the Norwegian government aims to have allocated areas for 30,000 MW offshore wind production in Norway.

"From day one in government, we have worked to develop Norway as an offshore wind nation. With favorable sea areas, workers with world-leading technology expertise and good cooperation between the state and business, we all have the prerequisites for success,"
said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

The government will facilitate a large-scale offshore wind development that allows for the use of various grid solutions. Cables with two-way power flow, connections to Europe and connections to Norway will be considered for each call. The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) have been tasked to study the consequences of the alternatives.

"The goal is to give people and companies large amounts of affordable power, which can create jobs across the country. We are concerned with securing grid solutions that ensure more power to Norway and that provide good grid solutions for offshore wind investments. This investment is also the answer to electrifying the Norwegian continental shelf. We will also study how a future ground rent tax on offshore wind can be set up, to ensure that a larger share of the profits in the industry is brought in to the community,"
said Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.

The government aims to carry out the next round of awarding licenses for offshore wind in new areas in 2025 following on from the previously announced Sørlige Nordsjø II and
Utsira Nord sites. The MPE will consider how it can streamline license processing by assessing the license and approval of the detailed plan as a whole, thus saving time.

"We must be fast, but also wise. Our ambition corresponds to a power volume that is on a par with the entire Norwegian power system. Therefore, we must do this step by step, to learn along the way. We want to preserve what is Norway's most important advantage in the power area: A secure and efficient power supply that is developed in a gentle way in interaction with fisheries and other important interests,"
said the Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland.

The government is planning a step-by-step allocation of land. The goal is to open a total area of ​​about 5-6 times Sørlige Nordsjø II, or approx. 1 percent of Norwegian sea areas.

The Norwegian government is currently making arrangements to auction the first phase of the Sørlige Nordsjø II offshore wind area later this year. The site consists of three phases, each with potential capacity of 1,500 MW of fixed offshore wind turbines.

Furthermore, it is preparing to auction the 500 MW
Utsira Nord site which lies west of Utsira and Haugalandet. It holds potential for floating wind power. The government has also confirmed that it is planning to open up additional sites beyond these in the future.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.