British and Norwegians cooperate for offshore wind expansion

The East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) and Norwegian Offshore Wind (NOW) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen collaboration between the Norwegian and East of England supply chains.

The agreement was signed this week at SNS2024 – The Energy Ecosystem in Norwich. The East of England Energy Group and Norwegian Offshore Wind are both focused on developing world-leading offshore wind supply chains. The two organisations share the North Sea and have different strengths that will create valuable synergies. Norwegian Offshore Wind sees the UK as the most attractive offshore wind market in Europe and has established a dedicated working group to engage its members in the UK projects. [ds_preview]

The East of England has become one of the most important hubs for offshore wind energy in the UK. Several of the major project developers such as Scottish Power Renewables, RWE and Orsted are based in the region and major offshore wind projects such as those in Norfolk and East Anglia are currently under development. In addition, the region has a strong supply chain and the Port of Great Yarmouth is the installation base for the Norfolk offshore wind area and the O&M base for Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal.

“The East of England is one of the most important offshore wind power centres in Europe’s largest market. As the North Sea is a shared sea basin with Norway, it will certainly be beneficial for our members to strengthen cooperation with the industry in this region,” says Arvid Nesse, manager of Norwegian Offshore Wind, which represents almost 400 member companies.

“For us, this MoU is a two-way street that also opens doors for UK companies targeting the Norwegian offshore wind market,” adds Alfred Risan, head of NOW’s UK working group.

Big offshore ambitions in Norway

Norway has great ambitions in the field of offshore wind energy. The government has set a target of 30 GW by 2040. The first auction took place in Norway at the beginning of the year, in which Ventyr was awarded the contract for the Southern North Sea II area. The area has a potential capacity of 1.5 GW. The next auctions are scheduled for 2025, and 70% of the areas suitable for offshore wind power plants will be awarded on a floating basis.

Norway, which has become rich from the oil and gas industry, wants to make greater use of its offshore expertise to develop a wind power industry in the wake of climate change, both nationally and internationally. The Scandinavians have already entered into partnerships in this area with countries such as Poland, Portugal and Japan.

The East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) is based in Norfolk. It represents around 200 members in four counties in England and in every energy sector – wind, gas, nuclear, solar, geothermal and more. They work closely with education providers, local authorities and government.

Kevin Keable, Chairman of EEEGR, said: “This could be very important for our members to get the opportunity to do business in Norway by using the skills and techniques developed in our region. We hope that our members can form profitable and rewarding partnerships with our Norwegian neighbours.”

By pooling resources and skills in the two countries in areas such as early development, balance of plant, manufacturing, installation and operations management, there will be strong synergies and business opportunities, according to Alfred Risan, who heads the industry-led working group for the UK in the Norwegian offshore wind sector.

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