Norway Has Room for 338 GW of Offshore Wind, New Analysis Finds

Norway has the potential to develop up to 338 GW of offshore wind in areas with a low level of conflict, according to a new analysis performed by Multiconsult and commissioned by the industry organisation Norwegian Offshore Wind, Equinor, Source Galileo, Hafslund and Deep Wind Offshore.

The two turbines at the METCentre outside the coast of Karmøy; Photo courtesy of Norwegian Offshore Wind

The report, issued on 14 April, maps 28 areas as suitable for floating wind and 18 areas for fixed-bottom offshore wind, estimating the total potential installed capacity to be 241 GW at 5 MW/km2 and 338 GW at 7 MW/km2.

Of this, floating wind could account for 156 GW and up to 219 GW, while fixed-bottom capacity is between 85 GW and 119 GW.

The areas the analysis mapped were selected based on their suitability to accommodate offshore wind farms and only few obvious conflicts. According to Multiconsult, it is especially the areas that are suitable for floating offshore wind that have a low level of conflict.

The developers who commissioned the report can use it as a tool to plan new projects and Source Galileo has already made use of it, with plans to build an offshore wind farm that could power the island of Melkøya, according to Norwegian Offshore Wind.

As 338 GW is ten times the Norwegian government’s 2040 target (30 GW), the analysis is primarily an important database for further discussions about offshore wind in Norway, the industry organisation says.

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“It is very important for the industry that we develop offshore wind alongside bird life, the fishing industry and marine life. This survey shows that it is possible to develop a formidable capacity, while at the same time taking care of several interests”, said Arvid Nesse, Manager of Norwegian Offshore Wind, as the analysis is said to place particular emphasis on coexistence with other industries.

“We have made an extensive data compilation in this survey, where we have examined bird life, fishing interests and environmental concerns, among other things. There are great opportunities for floating offshore wind in particular, but there are also good opportunities for renewable energy production within fixed offshore wind”, said Vegard Willumsen, head of department at Multiconsult.

“At the same time, there are always consequences for the development of offshore wind that must be considered, but we believe we have identified many good areas that provide an important professional basis for the further discussion on the development of offshore wind”.

Last month, the Norwegian government opened the application window for the country’s first offshore wind auction.

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The combined capacity offered in the first auction round is 3 GW split equally across two areas on the Norwegian continental shelf, Southern North Sea II (Sørlige Nordsjø II) and Utsira Nord, with the latter deemed most suitable for floating wind.

The award of contracts under Norway’s first offshore wind tenders is expected to take place by the end of this year.


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