Planning & Permitting study for North Sea Windpower Hub ‒ concerning the Norwegian sector (May 2019)

The regulatory framework was assessed for the development of potential OWFs*, export cables and interconnectors connected to the NSWPH from the Norwegian EEZ*. Regulatory authorities, NGO’s and industry stakeholders were consulted for the assessment.

The Ocean Energy Act introduced in 2010 regulates the development of OWFs and its export cables. Suitable areas for OWFs were presented in 2013. The government is expected in the coming year to open up 2-3 areas for OWFs along with more detailed regulations for the permit applications.

The selection criteria for areas emphasized distance to onshore grid connection, rather than electrification of offshore plants, or the possibility of direct export to foreign EEZs. However, of the three proposed shortlisted areas, two areas are situated in the south, bordering adjacent EEZs.

Interconnectors are subject to the Energy Act, where only the Norwegian TSO may own and operate interconnectors. When connected to Norway, interconnectors provide excellent storage opportunities due to hydropower.

Governmental support for OWF deployment is not likely, but several support mechanisms for R&D and demonstration projects exist. Electrification of offshore platforms may however provide a market for OWFs, as current operating costs exceed 109 €/MWh, due to high emission taxes.
The EU’s Gas Directive ensures third party access to Norway’s upstream gas pipeline network, if this becomes available for future hydrogen transport at some point in the future.

Permitting Study Norway