“The center will take on a coordinating role to ensure the dissemination of knowledge across the ecosystem of offshore wind, and to contribute to the sustainable development of offshore wind,” says Rune Klausen, Project Manager at Fremtidens Havvind.
At an event during Arendalsuka, he presented detailed plans for the newly established National Competence Center for Offshore Wind, backed financially by the Norwegian government and the regional bank, Sparebanken Sør.
The Norwegian offshore wind industry is in its early days. The first two licenses to operate wind farms in Norwegian waters are not expected to be given before early next year. A mapping of this emerging industry reveals a lack of administrative competence, industry-specific competence, environmental competence, competence on coexistence in the ocean space, and more.
“This underpins the need for a competence center relevant for and available to the public sector, the industrial sector, research institutions and academia, and society at large. The center will include, among other things, a knowledge bank – serving the entire offshore wind ecosystem with insights and resources to support the development of an internationally competitive industry based on innovation and sustainability,” says Klausen.
The very idea of establishing a national competence center for offshore wind is widely celebrated by key industry players, including Norwegian Offshore Wind, Renewables Norway, GCE Ocean Technology, Å Energi, and more.
“When building a large industry from scratch, we need regulatory and judicial frameworks, financial schemes, power grids, market designs, new value chains, competence at all levels, and still more. Offshore wind will be the third edition of Norway as an energy nation, building on our competence and technology from hydropower and oil & gas,” said Jon Evang, CEO of Renewables Norway.
“Increased competence across the industry is key. The main challenge may be to determine where to start,” says Arvid Nesse, CEO of the Norwegian Offshore Wind cluster.
Located in Kristiansand, the national competence center is in the process of hiring its General Manager and other key personnel, in addition to appointing a Board of Directors.