Norwegian government’s new legislation on offshore renewables

26 June 2009 – The Norwegian government has proposed new legislation on the development of offshore renewable energy resources that also includes a national strategy.

The proposed act is based on public administration and control of the management of offshore energy resources. 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 the infrastructure for offshore energy production are also addressed.

According to the proposal, 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 closedown of offshore renewable energy production and offshore grid.

The strategy discusses challenges related to future development of offshore renewable energy, and how the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy will follow up these.

In the field of technology and research, a support programme for the 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.