Norwegian OW Players Line Up Behind Development of Full-Scale Demo Sites

Norwegian Wind Energy Association (NORWEA) has held the first meeting within the Offshore 2025 project which gathers offshore wind industry representatives in creating a strategy for development of full scale offshore wind demonstration sites in Norway.

The project was initiated as a response to a recent white paper on the country’s energy policy presented by the government, which according to NORWEA ”does not follow up on the Parliament’s unanimous request to the government of proposing a strategy for realizing demo-projects for floating wind-energy and other forms of renewable ocean energy,” but instead ”delivers a statement on the fact that offshore wind is not viable as a source of electricity production while there is room for utilizing onshore wind resources at a lower cost.”

”What the white paper on energy policy delivered on offshore wind cannot be what the Parliament requested when it asked the government to present a strategy which would contribute to the realization of demonstration projects,” said Daniel Willoch, who’s heading the project work in NORWEA.

”It now falls to the industry itself to find a way forward. We already know that Norwegian expertise on maritime operations and maritime environments places the Norwegian industry in an advantageous position to take market shares in a fast-growing market for offshore wind. At the meeting we were given multiple examples which underscore the perception that in order to penetrate a market like this, you need to have already validated your technology.”

At the meeting held in Oslo on 21 April, the participants unanimously agreed that the first stage of the project should culminate in a presentation of a document to the Parliament, which will provide a basis for the discussion on offshore wind in the parliamentary debate on the white paper on energy policy.

The participants also agreed that the technology which is to be part of the demo must be technology that will be competitive in commercial terms.

The purpose of the Offshore 2025 project is to plot the potential economic impact of one or more full scale demo-sites for offshore wind in Norway. The aim of the project is to get relevant industry players, research bodies and organisations together to form a dialogue on a common strategy for the realization of such a site, and to show the positive effects for Norwegian stakeholders from partaking in the global offshore wind market.

Additionally, the project is expected to provide a platform for the development of new technology as well as for proving technology that may already be competitive. This will be the item for discussion during a meeting for relevant research institutions which NORWEA will host in Oslo in May.

”The idea is that we facilitate the testing of next generation technology in relation to the full scale demonstration of marketable technology. That way the demo can carry a substantial part of the infrastructure cost for the research site,” said Willoch.

The industry must unite on a coherent strategy, and the product must be an accurate presentation of the value that lies in realizing a full-scale offshore wind demo in Norway, NORWEA said.

”This is not something NORWEA can, nor want, to do by ourselves, but we will act as a catalyst. Yesterday’s meeting clearly showed that there is great enthusiasm for what we are trying to do; now we have to turn that enthusiasm into initiative,” said Willoch.

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