Norwegian Regulator Proposes 20 New Areas for Offshore Wind Farms

© manola72 / Adobe Stock
© manola72 / Adobe Stock

Norwegian energy regulator NVE on Tuesday recommended 20 areas suitable for deploying offshore wind farms that will help meet a 2040 target for 30 gigawatts (GW) of capacity.

The areas, dotted along Norway's vast coastline, were the ones believed to offer the least potential for conflict and could fit more than 30 GW, NVE head Kjetil Lund told a news conference.

The recommendation will form the basis for further government work on detailed assessments of the individual areas.

In March, the government opened tenders for its first commercial offshore wind farms, totalling up to 3.75 GW of capacity, and said it would offer up more acreage in 2025.

But only two of the 20 new areas, adjacent to the ones already tendered at Soerlige Nordsjoe II and Utsira Nord, would be ready for the 2025 round, NVE said.

Norway is a major producer of oil and gas as well as hydropower, but is planning to commission up to 30 GW of offshore wind permits by 2040, equal to around 75% of the country's current power producing capacity.

"This is an important basis for our further work. It shows that at this point in time we have enough areas to meet our ambition and goals," Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland said.

Earlier in April, an analysis by consultancy Multiconsult for the Norwegian Offshore Wind cluster, found that Norwegian waters offered areas suitable for development of nearly 340 GW, or ten times the government target.

Critics warned, however, that such vast capacity projections distorted the offshore wind discussion and opened up for unnecessary conflict with other maritime stakeholders such as the fishing industry or environmental protection groups.

(Reuters - Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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