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Offshore wind capable to support Norway’s power export while it remains majorly dependent on hydropower, says GlobalData

Norway has majorly been a net electricity exporter and is amongst the top 10 electricity exporting nations in Europe. Primarily reliant on hydropower, the country is an open electric market and its grid is well integrated with the other Nordic countries namely Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. To further support its electricity export, Norway looks to diversify into offshore wind. Building on the experience and strengths of the offshore oil and gas industry, the offshore wind segment stands as a perfect synergy to be developed and the power generated can enhance the country’s electricity export capacity, says Globaldata, a leading data and analytics company.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Hydropower fulfills Norway’s own electricity needs and caters to its exports. However, the country found itself as a net importer of the electricity in 2019 as hydro reservoirs remained low during the year. The analysis further suggests that for the past few years, exports have been decreasing, wherein 2019 saw Norway’s electricity exports declining by 33% over 2018. Offshore wind in Norway is in its incipient stage, but has strong potential, and can cater to the export-oriented approach of the nation. Norway has one of the world’s richest offshore wind resources, with wind speeds averaging 10m/s.”

To encourage expansion, the Norwegian government declared NOK25m (approximately US$2.8m) for an offshore wind venture and the foundation of a research center for renewable energy (RE). The RE research center is anticipated to focus on the challenges to the nation’s offshore wind segment. The team also has the additional support of another NOK10m (US$1.1m) to develop the supply chains and delivery models for offshore wind.

Das concludes: “Norway has opened two areas for offshore wind power developments in the North Sea, citing the possibility of developing upto 4,500MW of capacity. As the global offshore wind development costs decline over technological advancements, it will complement the country’s export strategy well to feed the neighboring countries at the time of peak demand.

“Good wind resources, combined with Norway’s strong position in maritime, offshore and land-based industrial sectors, indicate that Norwegian offshore wind power segment has it all to become noteworthy in the Norwegian locale. GlobalData’s forecasts suggest that the country will have about 1.5GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.”

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