Several large companies have recently teamed up in consortiums, announcing their interest in the development of Norway’s first large scale offshore wind farms in the Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II areas in the North Sea. At the same time, the Norwegian energy authorities are carrying out a revision of the Offshore Energy Act, the Offshore Energy Act Regulations, and the guidelines for the offshore wind concession process, leaving many unanswered questions in the regulatory landscape.
Norway is in the process of opening up for establishment of offshore wind production. One option is the use of auctions to allocate exclusive rights for this purpose. Industry players have raised concerns in particular due to uncertain prerequisites for these auctions. In this article, we point out that uncertainty might be mitigated by tailoring the auctions, and we give examples on how uncertainty can be reduced.
Offshore renewable energy plays a key role in achieving the EU’s climate and energy goals set out in the European Green Deal. The EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, and to become the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.
Norway’s large sea areas remain one of the country’s most important advantages in the global transition to a greener and more sustainable society. Solving the global climate challenges includes investments in measures such as ocean-based transport, restoration of marine ecosystems, seafood, storage of carbon in the ocean floor and ocean-based renewable energy. While these activities can help reduce the carbon footprint, they may also lead to increased activity in the sea areas already used for other types of (traditional) marine activities.
Power purchase agreements (PPAs) often play a crucial role in project financing of renewable energy projects, including offshore wind. Having a PPA in place to secure the revenue stream for a renewable energy project is often a necessity to attract banks and other project financiers. While a PPA may make an offshore wind project bankable, there are several considerations to be made in the drafting of a PPA. In this article we take a closer look at some important questions surrounding those considerations.
Offshore wind projects will play an important role in meeting the world’s need and demand for sustainable energy going forward. Offshore wind projects make an attractive investment, due to, among other factors, their stable and heavily regulated nature, as well as their green profile and the possibility of long term cash flows.
There is no doubt that offshore wind needs considerable public support in order to be financially viable. However, such support must first pass the threshold of EEA state aid law. How can state aid for offshore wind be granted legally, and what sources of state aid are available in Norway and the EU?
Technology development within offshore wind, particularly floating offshore wind, is expected to continue at a significant pace in the coming years. How could such technology development be structured, and what should the involved parties be aware of and take into consideration?
BIMCO has today expanded their suite of offshore contracts by launching the new standard time charter for accommodation support vessels. Wikborg Rein participated in BIMCO's drafting committee for the form and set out an overview of its key features below.
An important part of every offshore wind project is the installation of wind turbines. Installation of modern bottom-fixed offshore wind parks require specialised turbine installation vessels (WTIVs) to perform impressive lifts in challenging conditions. Currently, there is limited number of vessels available for these projects, in particular as wind parks are developed further offshore and with larger turbines. The charters for WTIVs are often fixed a couple of years prior to the project execution and accordingly, negotiation of the charterparties for these vessels is critical for a project’s success.
For those who are interested in the Chinese offshore wind market, it is crucial to understand that the Chinese regulatory framework for this sector is complicated and comprehensive, covering the whole value chain.
Despite the USA having what has been described as a “globally significant wind resource”, the development of the offshore wind industry in the United States has had something of a slow start, with only 5 electricity generating turbines currently in operation in US offshore waters with generating capacity of only around 30 MW.
At a time when many nations are expecting an explosion of new leasing rounds to meet the gap left by the phasing out of fossil fuels (and in some jurisdictions, nuclear power), it might seem odd to consider the ‘end of life’ options for wind farms – whether lifetime extension, repowering or decommissioning. However, wind turbines have an operational lifetime of 20-25 years. For the original offshore developments in the North Sea, this may be shorter as technology, fabrication and construction knowledge has developed rapidly over the past 20 years.
From East Anglia to East Asia: A commercial perspective on the development of offshore wind in Taiwan and further afield
Alex Hookway, a Senior Lawyer in Wikborg Rein's Renewables Team, sat down with Sam Stout, Managing Director of Colebrook Offshore1 in London. They discussed the current status of offshore wind in the Asia-Pacific, the (sometimes painful) lessons learned from the early wind farms in Taiwan and further afield, and what's next for wind energy in the region.