Offshore Wind

Norwegian Group Promotes 20 Areas for Offshore Wind Development

A Norwegian energy regulator has told officials it has identified at least 20 areas suitable for offshore wind farm development, as the government seeks to meet a target of installing at least 30 GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2040.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, known as NVE, an agency under the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, on April 25 made the recommendations to Norway’s government. NVE chief Kjetil Lund at a news conference Tuesday said the sites would likely face the least opposition for development, and together could allow for more than 30 GW of power generation capacity.

The government asked for a list of sites so it could then work on detailed assessments for each of the recommended areas. Officials in March of this year opened tenders for Norway’s first commercial offshore wind farms, looking for up to 3.75 GW of capacity. The government has said it plans to open tenders for more sites in 2025.

Important for Meeting Goals

“This is an important basis for our further work,” said Terje Aasland, the country’s minister of Petroleum and Energy. “It shows that at this point in time we have enough areas to meet our ambition and goals.”

An analysis published earlier this month by consultancy Multiconsult, done for the Norwegian Offshore Wind cluster, found that Norwegian waters offered areas suitable for development of almost 340 GW of generation capacity, more than 10 times the government’s current target.

Critics of offshore wind in Norway, including some environmental groups, have said it could have a negative impact on the country’s fishing industry.

NVE on Tuesday said just two of the 20 areas it identified, adjacent to ones already tendered at Soerlige Nordsjoe II and Utsira Nord, would be ready for the 2025 tender round.

Norway, long a major producer of oil and natural gas, and dependent on hydropower for about 90% of its electricity generation, plans to commission up to 30 GW of offshore wind permits by 2040. Those 30 GW would be equal to about 75% of the country’s current power generation capacity.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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