The Norwegian government has launched a large-scale investment plan to allocate maritime areas to develop 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040.
The ambition is for almost as much new energy to be produced from offshore wind as Norway produces in total today.
“Today we are launching a large scale investment in offshore wind. Our ambition is that by 2040 we allocate areas for 30,000 MW offshore wind generation in Norway,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said.
“With this ambition, we are going from the two offshore wind turbines that are operating today to around 1,500 offshore wind turbines. The construction will take place over the next 20 years, explains Gahr Støre.
Four months after this government took office, the framework for allocating the first large areas for offshore wind – Utsira North and Sørlige Nordsjø II – was launched. At the same time, work has been started to map possible new areas along the coast that can be prepared for the offshore wind.
“Since day one in government, we have worked to develop Norway as an offshore wind nation. With favorable sea areas, workers with advanced technological expertise and good cooperation between state and business, we all have the prerequisites for success,” said Gahr Store.
The Prime Minister called the initiative a milestone in Norway’s industrial and energy history.
“This is a green industrial boost in Norway and can provide abundant amounts of renewable energy in the future. The purpose of development is to give people and businesses large amounts of reasonable power. If we want to achieve this, we must invest now. And we need to invest on a large scale,” said Gahr Store.
The government has stated that it will facilitate large-scale offshore wind development enabling the use of various grid solutions. Cables with two-way power flow, interconnections to Europe and interconnections to Norway will be considered for each call. The Norwegian Directorate of Water Resources and Energy (NVE) and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) will study the consequences of the alternatives.
When choosing an offshore grid solution involving connection to the Norwegian electricity system, the technical design of the plant must ensure national interests, including security of supply and reasonable electricity prices for households, industries and businesses, the government said.
“We care about securing grid solutions that secure more electricity for Norway and provide good grid solutions for offshore wind investments”, said the Norwegian finance minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
“This investment is also the answer to the electrification of the Norwegian continental shelf. We will also explore how a future offshore wind property tax can be put in place, to ensure that a greater share of industry profits flow back to the community.
Next auction in 2025
The government aims to proceed with the next round of licensing for offshore wind in new areas in 2025. MPE will consider how to streamline the licensing process by assessing the license and approving the detailed plan as a whole, which will save time.
“You have to be quick, but also wise” said the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland.
“Our ambition is a power volume comparable to the entire Norwegian electricity 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 field of electricity: a safe and efficient power supply that is developed in a gentle way in interaction with fishing and other important interests. »
The government is planning a gradual allocation of maritime zones. The aim is to open up a total area about 5 to 6 times the size of Sørlige Nordsjø II, or about 1% of the Norwegian sea area.
Norway’s power grid will not be able to handle such a large amount of electricity, the government said, and it is therefore essential that a significant part of the electricity produced goes to other countries.
Increased offshore wind generation can also help meet the electricity needs of the oil sector. The government will therefore examine how the oil industry can best contribute, so that investment in offshore wind also facilitates the electrification of the Norwegian continental shelf.
Follow offshoreWIND.biz on: