Looking back at a year with many milestones
Cluster Manager Arvid Nesse reflects on a memorable year for the offshore wind industry.
As we are approaching a new year, it´s fair to say that 2021 has been a year of many milestones for offshore wind. These milestones had not been possible without the tireless work put down by our members, the working groups, our board and our employees. I would like to thank you for your efforts in rising offshore wind to the top of the agenda in Norway.
My impression is that 2021 was the year where offshore wind really hit the public debate. We have almost doubled our members, and are now 340. Both the previous and our new government claims that floating offshore wind technology is one of Norway´s key pieces in the green shift puzzle. We know that action always speaks louder than words, and I am happy to look back at 2021 as a year of action as well.
There has been great progress in opening new areas for offshore wind in Norway. The cluster´s main message to our politicians is to secure diversity in the development of a home market. The supply chain is growing rapidly. So is the need for speed. We are happy that our Offshore Wind Conference (Havvindkonferansen) has become a well-established networking arena for the Norwegian industry, and also a respected listening post for decision makers. The main take out from this year´s conference - agreed upon by all of the 200 participants - was that we cannot lag behind in establishing a home market if we are to succeed with offshore wind from Norway in the global market. I promise that the cluster will pursue this matter further in 2022.
The minister of Trade and Industry visited the METCentre.
We´ve had some groundbreaking technological leaps in 2021. The floating wind turbine TetraSpar was installed at the MetCentre outside of Karmøy. When our Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre came to visit this fall, he could happily witness that we now have two floating wind turbines producing power to the Norwegian grid! Unitech Zefyros, the first floating offshore wind turbine has been in operation for several years. The EU project Flaghsips was launched in 2021, aiming to reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for floating offshore wind to the range 40-60 €/MWh by 2030. To succeed with new technology, we need solid research. This year, the FME Northwind was established as a research center, and the cluster is an influential partner. We are also very happy to see that the project ImpactWind was awarded 28 mill NOK.
This year, we´ve seen exciting floating offshore wind developments in several international markets. Indeed, these developments are interesting business opportunities for both developers and suppliers. We have signed MOUs with clusters in France and Spain, and through several visits in 2021 we have made connection in other potential markets. We will further expand our export development in 2022, planning study trips for our members to Japan, Scotland, France, Spain, Greece, Ireland and USA. Together with Innovation Norway, we are arranging a Global Growth program for highly motivated businesses ready to enter the French market. Fingers crossed that covid will allow for more than just digital approaches.
Also at home, 2022 will be an exciting year for our industry. We expect the government to allocate areas in Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø, and we are providing valuable input to government representatives to makes sure that this will be a success for both the developers and the supply chain. The cluster has also teamed up with our Danish and Swedish friends to develop common Nordic ports and logistics for offshore wind. We are kicking off this project in January.
I hope to see you all in our international conference Floating Offshore Wind in Haugesund June 8-9, and in the national Offshore Wind Conference (Havvindkonferansen) in September. On behalf of the Norwegian Offshore Wind Cluster, I wish you all a very happy new year!
The government’s internal disagreement over hybrid cables jeopardizes the Norwegian offshore wind development.