May 11 (Renewables Now) - The Norwegian government on Wednesday presented plans for the development of 30,000 MW of offshore wind power generating capacity by 2040, which corresponds to almost as much power as the country produces today.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere commented that with this ambition, Norway will go from two offshore wind turbines currently in operation to roughly 1,500 units 20 years from now. This amount of power is estimated to be more than what the domestic grid will be able to handle so the plan envisages the export of electricity to other countries.
Another option being considered is to cover power needs in the petroleum industry, the government said in a statement.
Norway has already announced plans to award 4.5 GW of offshore wind development areas in the North Sea this year, including leases for the Utsira Nord and Sorlige Nordsjo II (also known as the Southern North Sea II) areas.
In the meantime, new areas along the coast are being mapped. Overall, the state aims to open a total area that is about five to six times Sorlige Nordsjo II, or around 1% of Norwegian sea areas. Licensing awards for the new areas will be made from 2025 onwards.
For each call, the government will consider various grid solutions such as hybrid cables or radials to Europe and Norway.