Norwegians Urge for Offshore Wind Demo Sites After Survey Reveals Multi-Billion Potential

Norwegian offshore wind industry representatives have urged the government to create a working strategy for the establishment of full-scale demonstration sites after a survey showed that Norwegian companies valued their export potential in the North Sea offshore wind market between 2025 and 2040 at around EUR 6.45 billion.

The companies and organisations interested in developing the country’s offshore wind-related industry have sent a document to the members of the standing committee for Energy and the Environment in the Norwegian Parliament which details why the country needs a working strategy for the establishment of offshore wind demonstration sites in its territorial waters.

The reason for the document being written is the lack of a strategy for the establishment of Norwegian demonstration sites for offshore wind technology in the recently launched white paper on energy policy, despite a unanimous Parliament demanding this to be a part of the white paper.

”We’re glad that we have a parliament which can bring this up for debate; it’s important now to showcase the potential for Norwegian export based on offshore wind technology,” said Daniel Willoch, the project administrator at the Norwegian Wind Energy Association (NORWEA), the author of the survey.

NORWEA carried the survey as part of the recently launched  project Offshore 2025 which aims to identify Norwegian companies that do or can benefit from offshore wind.

In the short time since the white paper was launched and until now, it has been impossible to undertake a full mapping of the Norwegian industry, nonetheless the document presented to the members of the standing committee contains the findings from a limited survey conducted by NORWEA.

Companies representing almost the whole value chain for an offshore wind farm excluding turbines, participated in the survey. The companies defined their export potential in a North Sea market of 60GW between 2025 and 2040 to be in the region of NOK 60 billion. (EUR 6.45bn).

”We have managed in a short time to find companies that cover all the main points in the value chain for an offshore wind farm. We asked the companies to estimate their value added from access to the European offshore wind market, and they said around 60 billion over 15 years,” said Willoch.

”This is by no means an exact estimation, but the point was to show that the potential for Norwegian export is large, and that the arguments for working to establish a Norwegian industry is present.”

NORWEA says that the mapping clearly shows how one of the most prevalent limits for Norwegian companies in entering the international market is the lack of a domestic validation.

Showing up with unvalidated technologies, Norwegian companies are not first in line when the bids for large, European projects open, NORWEA said, adding that this was one of the main reasons for launching the Offshore 2025 project.

”It’s peculiar how the government in the white paper on energy policy presents the large opportunities for value creation from exports to the offshore wind market and continues to describe how a Norwegian demo-park would foster innovation and development and then continue on to do nothing of what a unanimous parliament asked for; a strategy,” said Willoch.

The document sent to the members of the standing committee also presents some concepts for how a demo-site can best be used to improve the products of previous and ongoing R&D on early-stage technology. These concepts have been developed in close cooperation with key research partners.

”Large sums of public money have been committed to fund R&D on offshore wind technology. Moreover, offshore wind has become our largest renewables export. Now we need to be wise when working on the development of a strategy to foster more offshore wind related exports, so that we continue to reap the benefits of the large investments that have already been made. To allow these institutions to crumble is to forfeit a large, and also expensively bought chance,” said Willoch.