Norway’s minister of petroleum and energy, Terje Søviknes, is to open two areas on the Norwegian continental shelf for offshore wind projects.
“The industry has called for a demonstration and pilot project. It will be a place to innovate and learn, enabling Norwegian technology and competence to develop in order to compete in a quickly evolving and growing global market,” Søviknes said, when speaking at the 2018 Energy Outlook conference in Arendal mid August.
“A part of our offshore wind strategy is to strengthen the supplier industry. I don’t expect to see a lot of offshore windfarms in Norway. We have far more accessible and unexploited wind resources onshore, but it is important to develop the industry in a new segment that has great global potential,” Søviknes told delegates.
The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate has identified four areas that are suitable for offshore wind. Søviknes said the government will decide on which two areas should be developed later this year.
It is anticipated that at least one project, possibly both, will be connected to an oil and gas facility, to which it could provide electricity, rather than transmitting the power ashore.
Søviknes said that for Equinor, Norway’s state-owned oil and gas company, which recently ventured into offshore wind, there are two main drivers for the projects. One is to further develop offshore wind competence. The other is to reduce emissions by replacing gas with wind as a source of power generation for an offshore platform.
In 2017, Equinor opened Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore windfarm.