Small boat with offshore wind turbines in the background.
Small boat with offshore wind turbines in the background.
Small boat with offshore wind turbines in the background.

Innovative workshop discusses co-existence between offshore wind and maritime activities

In a novel approach to problem-solving, NorthWind partner SINTEF hosted a multi-location workshop focusing on co-use of the sea and co-existence of offshore wind projects with fisheries and maritime traffic. The event aimed to address the Norwegian government’s call for well-planned offshore wind projects that respect other maritime activities.

The setup

Over 30 participants from academia, fisheries, industry and government gathered at three SINTEF locations – Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo – for simultaneous discussions on this issue. The innovative format allowed for a broader range of input while maintaining the benefits of in-person interaction.

Objectives and expectations

The workshop’s objectives included sharing best practices on co-existence between the wind energy sector and maritime activities, discussing new ideas about co-use of marine spaces, and identifying knowledge gaps and research needs for future collaborative projects.

SINTEF, a research organisation committed to “Technology for a better society,” took the lead in this endeavour. However, the workshop also responded to broader societal expectations. The Norwegian government, along with various maritime sectors, expects offshore wind projects to exist harmoniously with other activities like fishing and shipping.

Key Challenges for offshore co-existence​ – Credible process​: Trustworthy actors & data​; Legitimate process: Follows the written & unwritten applicable laws​; Salient process​: Relevant & important for stakeholders​.

EU context and local relevance

European Union project OLAMUR has discussions of this type as a backdrop. It aims for co-use of marine areas by the energy and aquaculture sectors. Norway currently lacks a demonstration project that addresses these issues, making the workshop and its outcomes especially pertinent.

Outcome and next steps

A summary of the main results is under preparation and will be distributed to all participants. Attendees were encouraged to discuss the interdisciplinary issues surrounding co-existence within their workplaces, and to collaborate widely to bring attention to this important aspect of sustainable offshore wind development.

For further information about the workshop or its outcomes, contact SINTEF Ocean’s Dorothy Dankel.