The Norwegian government yesterday unveiled its plan to build offshore wind turbines and hopes the first turbines will be built by 2030 following a call for tenders. According to the APE-MPE, the largest producer of hydrocarbons in Western Europe, the Scandinavian country aims to build in two phases, with a capacity of 1,500 MW each, a wind farm where wind turbines will be located (anchored at the bottom) in the waters of the south North. “This is to ensure access to clean and cheap energy, which is in line with the current situation,” which is characterized by the high cost of electricity in Europe, Labor Prime Minister Jonas Gar Stere told a news conference.
For the first phase of this park called Sørlige Nordsjø II, there will be a call for tenders and the project will be for national consumption only. The government has in fact ruled out the installation of export-oriented cables, as demanded by manufacturers who see it as a prerequisite for profitability. The first turbines are expected to be built “in the second half” of the decade, Stere said. They will cover the electricity consumption of 460,000 households. Later, a second phase of the project may be linked to the European continent, but this will depend on a study commissioned by the Norwegian Water Authority (NVE).
The association representing the oil companies – which are often the same as the wind energy sector – Norsk olje og gass (Norwegian Oil and Gas Association) welcomed the “necessary clarifications” made by the government but also criticized it for revising it. down its ambitions by dividing the wind farm into two phases. The government defended its position by assuring that such a separation would make it possible to speed up the start of the project. Norsk olje og gass also expressed “surprise” that it was not heard about the need for a cable to the European continent which, according to her, would allow the project to be done without public subsidies.
Another offshore wind farm, which will be floating, is also scheduled to take place in Norwegian North Sea waters, but no timetable has been set for this project called Utsira North, which is also for national consumption. These wind farms had been approved by the previous center-right government, but their implementation was delayed. As elsewhere in Europe, a debate is raging in Norway over the feasibility of connecting the national electricity grid to the European grid, a choice which critics say has resulted in a price increase, which is currently high, of electricity for consumers.