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Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has announced that Norway aims to allocate 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040. This will produce almost as much new electricity as Norway consumes in total today.
The construction of the new wind farms will take place over the next 20 years. Norway doesn’t have any commercial-scale offshore wind farms today. But they have already identified two zones for development and are planning to run an auction for a 1.5 GW floating wind farm in one of them next year. They’ll now start working to identify other zones and to simplify the permitting procedures for offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind in Norway will be a combination of conventional bottom-fixed and floating wind farms. The Norwegian Government is aiming for a step-by-step allocation of the additional sea space. They say the next offshore licensing round will be opened in 2025. But uncertainty remains around the execution of the Government plans: Norway does not have a precise expansion target for 2030, nor a clear licensing and auction schedule for the years up to 2040. The exact split between bottom-fixed and floating projects remains unclear. Clarity on licensing schedules and auction design will be crucial to ensure the necessary predictability to unlock wind energy investments.
The Norwegian Government will involve the fishing industry, local communities and other important sea space users in the allocation of the new offshore wind areas. Between each allocation round the Government will evaluate the consequences of operational wind farms for fishing and other maritime industries. The Government is also exploring different models for a ground tax on offshore wind to ensure that a part of the profits will be shared with local communities.
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