Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru has written to EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson noting common ground in the way the European bloc and the Norwegian Government see the potential of offshore wind, highlighting Norway’s offshore expertise and how it might be applied to help Europe realise its goals.
Norway is not part of the EU but is associated with it through its membership of the European Economic Area. It was also a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, which was originally set up as an alternative to the European Economic Community, the main predecessor of the EU.
“Norway firmly believes the challenges associated with deploying sufficient renewable energy to combat climate change are best solved through close co-operation and exchange of best practices between countries,” said Ms Bru.
“We share the objective of the EU to identify a strategic direction for offshore renewable energy towards 2050. The instruments for a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis outlined in the European Green Deal are similar to the way Norway has approached those challenges, with a Nkr3.6Bn stimulus package for a green transition.
“Norway has a competent and eager industry that is ready to contribute with its offshore expertise. It also has excellent wind resources both onshore and offshore. I hope the coming strategy will describe a future where we can contribute towards a renewable energy system in Europe.”
With regard to the public consultation on the EU’s strategy for offshore renewables (about which coverage can be found here, here, here, here and here), Ms Bru said, “Offshore wind has an important role to play in the global development of power systems in the years to come. Europe has a strong starting position. However, it is necessary that the coming developments succeed in further bringing down costs, facilitating the renewable energy transition.
“We believe that market-based solutions are a precondition for succeeding in deploying renewable energy, while at the same time pursuing the goal of affordable energy to all consumers. The development in offshore wind should thus take place within the framework of an effective electricity market and secure a cost-effective development.
“Norway would also like to stress the importance of further technology development and innovation. We believe floating wind will play a significant role in the development of offshore renewables.
“Floating technology allows for power production in deep waters, utilising renewable resources as well as providing greater flexibility regarding the localisation of power production. This makes floating wind well suited for meeting concerns regarding biodiversity and other interests at sea, like fisheries. Offshore wind could also play a role in the future development of production and use of green hydrogen.”
Ms Bru highlighted the Hywind Tampen project, the 88-MW floating wind power project that will provide electricity to two oil and gas fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. “The aim is, in addition to reducing emissions, to help bring down costs for floating offshore wind,” she concluded.