Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland, and Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland, and Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland, and Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre

Norwegian government launches first offshore wind project competitions

The Norwegian government took a significant step forward in the development of offshore wind energy in the country today, by launching the first call to tender for offshore wind projects.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre emphasised the importance of this milestone in leading Norway through the green transition. The government’s ambition is to allocate areas for 30 GW of offshore wind by 2040, roughly equivalent to Norway’s entire power production last year.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy will open competitions for renewable energy production at sea in two areas on the Norwegian continental shelf: Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord. Minister Terje Aasland expressed anticipation for numerous strong applications from potential developers and looks forward to awarding the project areas later this year.

Here are the broad strokes of the announcement:

  • 30 GW from offshore wind by 2040
  • Collaboration and industry input considered key for successful competitions
  • Application deadlines: Sørlige Nordsjø II (August 4, 2023), Utsira Nord (September 1, 2023)
  • Sørlige Nordsjø II: one actor to be awarded, prequalification followed by auction, allocation by end of 2023
  • Utsira Nord: three actors to be awarded, competition based on qualitative criteria, allocation by end of 2023
  • Utsira Nord opened for 1,500 MW capacity, with potential expansion up to 750 MW
  • New round of project area announcements planned for 2025

Industry input has played a vital role in shaping the competitions. Aasland highlighted the importance of collaboration in this work and expressed satisfaction with the suggestions received during the consultation round. The combined efforts will facilitate the construction of new industries, increased renewable power production, and robust innovation and technology development.

The Energy Commission’s report released earlier this year indicates a need for more rapid renewable energy expansion, including pursuing multiple projects simultaneously. As a result, the government has initiated work to assess new areas for offshore wind, with a new round of allocations planned for 2025.

Aasland also emphasized the importance of dialogue with various interest groups to ensure a harmonious coexistence. He noted that Norway has a strong tradition of developing its continental shelf incrementally, which will continue with the country’s offshore wind efforts.

“It’s very encouraging that the government is keeping up with the schedule it set for itself, and that they are saying they want Norway to become a leading offshore wind nation,” says NorthWind director John Olav Tande. “Another positive signal is that the qualification criteria include sustainability, positive ramifications and the applicants’ ability to carry out the projects. Particularly interesting for us in the research community is that applicants will have to outline their plans for research and knowledge building as part of their application. Being on the forefront of research and innovation is a precondition for the success of Norway’s offshore wind efforts.”

Read the government’s own press release on Announces the first competitions for offshore wind