A Royal Decree has been issued in Norway for the development of up to 4.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in two areas, Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II
The development means it will be possible to submit licence applications for offshore wind projects in Norwegian waters.
In accordance with the Norwegian Ocean Energy Act, areas must be opened by the government before licence applications can be submitted. A proposal to open areas and a draft regulation for consultation were proposed in 2019.
Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru said, “Offshore wind power offers great opportunities for Norwegian businesses.
“In the immediate future the market will be in other countries, but if the cost of offshore wind continues to fall it could also become competitive in Norway.
“It is now time to prepare for future development by allocating space for offshore renewables,” she said.
Norway’s minister for climate and environment Sveinung Rotevatn said, “The world will need more renewable energy in the future.
“The world-leading offshore industry in Norway can be at the forefront of developing the technology that makes it possible to reach Norwegian and global climate targets.
“By investing in offshore wind, we can both create new jobs for the future and reduce emissions.”
“The ministry received many good suggestions and viewpoints in the consultation, and I have emphasised finding the right balance between accommodating this exciting new industry, and at the same time ensuring proper consideration of other interests in upcoming licensing processes,” Ms Bru said.
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Of the two areas available for applications for offshore renewables, Utsira Nord is to the west of Haugesund, and is suitable for floating wind, which is the most interesting technology from a Norwegian perspective. The area is also large, 1,010 km2, close to shore and provides opportunities for demonstration projects and larger projects.
Sørlige Nordsjø II borders the Danish sector in the North Sea and is suitable for the export of electricity. It has an area of 2,591 km2 and water depths which makes it possible to develop bottom-fixed wind or floating solutions.
The areas will open on 1 January 2021. Combined, the two areas allow for the development of 4.5 GW of offshore wind capacity.