Press release | Date: 14/09/2023 | Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
The Government has instructed the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) to commence strategic impact assessments of three offshore wind areas that may be suitable for opening and tender in 2025.
— The Government is fully committed to developing Norway as an offshore wind nation. We have a significant need for new, renewable power in the coming years. Offshore wind can provide a considerable share. In addition, developing a domestic market offers exciting opportunities for further developing the Norwegian supply and service industry, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Terje Aasland.
For the tender round in 2025, the NVE has recommended that the Government should consider extending the already opened areas Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord with the areas Sørvest F and Vestavind F. In addition, the Government wishes to conduct a strategic impact assessment of the area Vestavind B.
The opening of the areas Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord were based on a strategic impact assessment from 2012. According to the assessment, 3000 megawatts (MW) could be developed in the Sørlige Nordsjø II area, and 1500 MW in the Utsira Nord area. The proposed inclusion of Sørvest F and Vestavind F alters the preconditions in the 2012 assessment. Accordingly, a strategic impact assessment on the effects of the capacity expansions must be conducted.
The Government has also instructed the NVE to conduct a strategic impact assessment of the area Vestavind B. This is an area with good wind conditions and substantial existing infrastructure. The latter contributes to knowledge of established industries and other interests in the area.
— In April, the NVE presented 20 new potential areas for offshore wind production on the Norwegian continental shelf. Today, the NVE has been instructed to start strategic impact assessments of three of the areas that may be suitable for opening and tender in the 2025 licensing round, as well as areas that may be relevant for later licensing rounds. Offshore wind offers great opportunities. We now take an important step forward in our efforts, says Minister Aasland.
The strategic impact assessments related to the 2025 round should be concluded by the end of November 2024.
The NVE has also been instructed to commence strategic impact assessments of the other areas that are relevant for tender rounds moving towards 2040. These assessments should be completed by the end of June 2025.
In the process of identifying new areas for offshore wind, the NVE has led a broadly composed group of Directorates and Agencies: The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, The Directorate of Fisheries, The Norwegian Environment Agency, The Norwegian Coastal Administration, The Norwegian Defence Estates Agency, and The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection. This group will also be involved in the work with the strategic impact assessments.
The Government's ambition is to award areas with the potential for 30 gigawatts offshore wind production on the Norwegian continental shelf by 2040. It is important that offshore wind projects are developed in a manner of positive coexistence with other industries, while also addressing environmental and natural concerns. This will be assessed at several stages during the project development. Before an area is opened, a strategic impact assessment is conducted. The assessment includes, among other things, studies on biological diversity on the seabed, marine mammals, and seabirds.