On September 30th 2022, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy proposed a new Section 3-2 in the Offshore Energy Act (havenergiloven) (Prop. 143 L (2021-2022)). The Ministry proposes a legal framework for the process leading to allocation of areas opened for offshore wind and other renewable energy offshore. In the Council of State, on the same day, the King approved that the proposal will be submitted to the Norwegian Parliament.
The key elements of the proposal are:
- As a main rule, one or several areas within an area opened for renewable energy offshore (e.g. offshore wind), shall be awarded through competition
- Areas may also be awarded upon application without a prior announcement or competition in certain cases, e.g. when someone is developing a project within an area of which there has not been any interest
- Compensation can be payable when being awarded an area
- Where the allocation is awarded through competition, it shall be done either by auction (financial competition), based on assessments of other objective and non-discriminating conditions for the applicant (e.g. in the development of immature technology), or by a combination of these
- Being awarded an area will be conditioned upon sufficient technical competence, financial strength and fulfilment of relevant requirements regarding health, environment and safety
- The Ministry may require that parties wanting to participate in a competition to be prequalified
- Whoever is awarded the area, will a time-limited exclusive right to carry out a project-specific investigation and to apply for a licence
- The Ministry may arrange a new competition for the area if the applicant fails to carry out the investigation for the project and apply for a licence within the deadline.
May 11th 2022, the Norwegian government announced its ambitions for offshore wind. Read our newsletter here.
The proposal contributes to ensure that the auctions for areas on Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II will be announced within the first half of 2023.
Link to the proposal (in Norwegian only) here.