The recently established NorthWind research centre in Norway launched its activities on 16 June with its first General Assembly.
The update comes some six months after the Norwegian government announced it would invest NOK 120 million (EUR 11.3 million) in a new wind power research centre, one of whose main priorities would be offshore wind research.
The centre’s research is divided into five work packages as it aims at making wind energy cheaper, more efficient and more sustainable. One of its main areas of focus is offshore wind research.
NorthWind is led by the research institute SINTEF, with partners NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), NINA (The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research), NGI (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute) and UiO (University of Oslo).
Centre leader and chief scientist at SINTEF, John Olav Tande, says that large cost reductions are within reach for both bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind energy, but that these cost reductions won’t come automatically.
“The road to success in offshore wind depends on three factors: development, research and innovation. All three have to be present”, John Olav Tande said.
NorthWind launch follows the recent announcement from the Norwegian government on opening further areas for large-scale offshore wind development.
The country is currently in the process of awarding acreage for offshore wind development in the two areas it opened last year, with many developers already revealing their plans to apply for building wind farms off Norway.
Opening further areas for offshore wind is a response to the demands from the local industry which last year recorded an NOK 11 billion (around EUR 1.1 billion) international turnover in goods and services related to offshore wind, according to Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru.