Floating Wind Could Create 52,000 Jobs in Norway, Study Finds

Floating wind alone could create over 52,000 jobs in Norway by 2050, which is around 25 per cent of the total employment in the oil industry in 2019, according to a report from Menon Economics.

The report also finds that Norwegian players could take between 5 and 14 per cent of the global floating wind market share, with the upper range reachable if the country quickly builds up a solid industry at home.

Menon Economics has also estimated that Norwegian companies can turn over up to NOK 96 billion (around EUR 9.5 billion) in 2050 from floating wind.

“Norway has been a pioneer in floating technology, and the report shows that floating offshore wind can play a key role in the restructuring of the Norwegian offshore industry”, Norwegian Offshore Wind, one of the organisations that commissioned the study, states.

The world’s first floating wind turbine, Hywind Demo, was installed at the METCentre test site outside Karmøy, Norway, in 2009. The floater was built by Equinor, which sold Hywind Demo to Unitech in 2019.

The METCentre test site is now also home to a new floating wind platform, the TetraSpar Demonstrator which was installed last year, and Equinor has jumped to bigger floating wind projects since its 2009 venture into the industry, including building the world’s first floating wind farm that will power oil and gas platforms in Norway.

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“The expertise we have in floating offshore technology due to oil and gas has given the Norwegian supply industry a heads start. We are already well equipped, and in the process of a competence transfer. It is great to see that this report shows such a large potential in employment”, said leader of Norwegian Offshore Wind, Arvid Nesse.

The country is also set to award development rights for floating wind projects in its upcoming tender for two areas, with Utsira Nord – an area of 1,000 square kilometres located northwest of Stavanger – deemed suitable for floating wind power.

This March, the Norwegian Government proposed the sites in the Utsira Nord lease area to be allocated based on qualitative criteria, rather than through an auction, to facilitate innovation and technology development.

Still, Norwegian Offshore Wind has called for the pace of allocation of areas at Utsira Nord to increase, in order to ensure a domestic market where Norwegian companies can provide services and to secure the upper rage of the market share estimated by the report.

“The report shows that several countries around us have now come further with their floating projects and have clearer goals of building offshore wind farms quite soon”, Norwegian Offshore Wind said.

The report has been commissioned by by Norsk Industri, Norwegian Offshore Wind, Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, GCE Ocean Technology and GCE Node / Fremtidens Havvind.

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Photo: Johnny Engelsvoll/Equinor; Illustration: Hywind Tampen foundations