100 representatives from government, political parties, businesses, and media participated at the annual Vårgrønn conference in Stavanger to discuss the future of offshore wind in Norway.
- There is a serious situation underpinning this year's conference. The need for renewable energy has never been more urgent given war in Europe and a pan-European energy crisis. Offshore wind can be a key in solving the energy crisis, as well as the precarious climate and nature crisis, said CEO Olav Hetland of Vårgrønn in his opening address.
While countries surrounding Norway are developing offshore wind on a large scale, the industry is still waiting for the first Norwegian offshore wind tenders to be announced in 2023. Under the title «Offshore wind Norway – a new adventure or utopia?” representatives from government, politics, research institutions, investors and businesses were invited by Vårgrønn and the Stavanger Chamber of Commerce to share their views on the following questions:
• Are conditions in place for a massive offshore wind exploration in Norway?
• How can supplier industry in a high-cost countrylike Norway win significant market shares whilst preventing jobs and supplier contracts ending up abroad?
• Are necessary know-how, experience, and workforce in place to meet the Government’s ambition of massive offshore wind production in Norway?
• How can we learn and benefit from offshore wind development in other countries?
State Secretary Andreas Bjelland Eriksen in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy explained the Norwegian Government’s desire to allocate areas sufficient to raise 30 GW of offshore wind by 2040, and how this could happen. The United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Norway, Mr. Richard Wood, shared the British offshore wind ambitions and how the UK’s offshore wind experience can be relevant for Norway, paving the way for a wider partnership in the North Sea.
During the conference, the following news were presented:
• Atle Blomberg from NORCE presented key findings from the report “Competence needs in the Norwegian-based offshore wind industry”. The report documents a shortage of specific offshore wind competence in Norway. Even though there are significant transferable competencies in the oil and gas industry, many of the specialist fields lack training and certification necessary in order for this competence to be transferred to the offshore wind industry.
• A new partnership between Vårgrønn and Flotation Energy is established to electrify and decarbonize oil- and gas installations in the Scottish part of the North Sea. Read more about this here.
We look forward to welcoming everyone again for next year’s Vårgrønn Conference!
*** Speakers and panelists 2022:
· State Secretary Andreas Bjelland Eriksen, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
· The United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Norway, Richard Wood
· Tina Bru, Member of Parliament from the Conservative Party of Norway
· Hadia Tajik, Member of Parliament from The Norwegian Labour Party
· Deputy Mayor Dagny S. Hausken, Stavanger Municipality
· Senior Advisor Amund Ljønes, Statnett
· Senior Researcher Atle Blomgren, NORCE Research Centre
· Deputy CEO Øystein Stjern, IKM Group
· Senior Partner Sunniva Landmark Bjørnstad, HitecVision
· CEO Harald Minge, Stavanger Chamber of Commerce