The Norwegian Government proposes new legislation on offshore renewable energy
“This is an historic day. Offshore wind energy may become the next adventure for the Norwegian industry and energy sector. Through the proposed act and the strategy for offshore renewable energy the Government establishes a framework and future possibilities for a new green industry,” says the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Terje Riis-Johansen.
The proposed act is based on public administration and control of the management of the energy resources offshore. The strategy states that a process of identifying sea areas suitable for future development of offshore wind power now will be initiated. Aspects related to infrastructure for offshore energy production are also addressed.
The proposal implies that renewable energy production may be established offshore after the Government has opened up appointed areas for applications. To ensure holistic planning and early consideration of all relevant interests, appointment and opening of areas will only happen after thorough impact assessments. The proposed act also includes regulations on the process of applying for concessions, establishment, operation and close-down of offshore renewable energy production and offshore grid.
Regulations on compensation to fishermen, similar to the regulations in the petroleum sector, are also proposed. The proposed act is also covering concerns related to security and working environment, area fees, system operation and export and import of electrical energy.
“A future large-scale development of offshore renewable energy production presents us with a number of challenges. The proposed act is an important part of the long-term efforts of the Norwegian Government in the field of offshore wind power. The proposal creates a framework for ensuring that energy infrastructure is planned, constructed and operated with due concern for energy supply, environment, security, fisheries, sea transport and other interests,” says the Minister.
The strategy discusses challenges related to future development of offshore renewable energy, and how the Ministry will follow up these. In the field of technology and research, a support programme on demonstration of marine renewable energy was established earlier this year. In addition three research centres of environmentally friendly energy, relevant to offshore energy production, are in the process of being established.
“The proposal we are now presenting to Stortinget (the Parliament) is pointing out the direction for the long-term efforts needed to make offshore wind power a new Norwegian technology and energy industry. We will do a thorough piece of work on this. In 2012 we will present a revised and further developed strategy to Stortinget,” says Riis-Johansen.