The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) identified 20 potential new areas for offshore wind development, as Norway seeks to significantly increase its renewable energy production in the coming years.
The Norwegian government aims to allocate areas for 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040, a capacity that would be nearly equivalent to the country’s current hydropower production. According to Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland, NVE’s efforts to pinpoint new offshore areas provide a solid foundation for discussions on which locations can be developed in a way that takes into account other important societal considerations.
Before any new locations are approved, a strategic impact assessment will be carried out. The government will now discuss the NVE’s proposals with stakeholders affected by offshore power production, including members of the coexistence group for offshore wind. As part of this process, the NVE has also prepared a draft program for impact assessments, which is now open for public consultation until 12 June.
“An important detail to keep in mind is that the government’s 30 GW target can be met by developing only a fraction of the suggested areas,” says SINTEF Chief Scientist and FME NorthWind director John Olav Tande.
NVE picked these areas as a result of collaboration with a broad-reaching group of agencies. The group led by NVE included representatives from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the Directorate of Fisheries, the Environment Directorate, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Defence Estates Agency, and the Directorate for Civil Protection.
On 29 March, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced a competition for project areas for offshore renewable energy production in two regions on the Norwegian continental shelf: Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord. These are currently the only two areas open for offshore renewable power production.
Read about NVE’s conclusions on their own website (in Norwegian).