Nearly 200 people gathered for the Ocean Wind Bergen conference that was held at the Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooporation with Maritime Bergen. The conference aimed to discuss the emerging offshore wind industry and its potential for Greater Bergen.
With its access to a highly skilled workforce, first-class industrial suppliers, an evolving knowledge base and key areas with high wind resources (Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II), Greater Bergen has all the tools to push the industry forward. Recognising this, the conference aimed to discuss and determine how best to move forward and consolidate the region’s position within this emerging industry.
Elisabeth Sæther (AP), an advisor representing the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, highlighted that “the most important work Norway can do for the future is to have a stable and predictable energy policy”.
“Offshore wind plays a key role in enabling us to reduce emissions from oil and gas on the Norwegian shelf and achieve the ambitious climate targets we have set for ourselves,” she added.
The conference was organised by Invest in Bergen, the Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Norwegian Industries (Norsk Industri), GCE Ocean Technology and Maritime Bergen.
Through the course of the conference, several key points were highlighted.
- The offshore wind industry could greatly contribute to long-term energy production, citing that Sørlige Nordsjø II could potentially produce a 10% surplus in power
- Further developing the industry could cut greenhouse gas emissions along the Norwegian shelf
- The industry could meet the region’s power needs and compensate for the strained power grids
- The industry could contribute significant energy and growth over the coming several decades
Knowledge, Ports and Suppliers
Niklas Indrevær, Vice President of Renewables Business Development for Asker Solutions, gave the opening address. He cited a 2020 report where Norsk Industri mapped the Norwegian supplier industry’s feasibility in scaling up offshore wind development along the Norwegian shelf and promoting competitiveness in the international market. While there were some drawbacks, the map showed that Norwegian suppliers had significant strengths in complex collaboration, regulatory dialogue, and marine expertise.
Speaking on the region’s ports and facilities, Inger Hygen, Partner at Kluge law firm, touched on how state organisations, such as the Bergen Port Authority, can take an active role in further developing the offshore wind sector. Along with the port of Bergen, several other key ports, such as Hanøytangen, were also cited as having great strategic value for the emerging offshore wind industry.
In addition to the list of distinguished speakers, representatives from the Bergen Offshore Wind Centre (formed by the University of Bergen) were also present. Kristin Frøysa, Energy Director for the University of Bergen, emphasised the need for further cultivated knowledge in the field of offshore wind, adding that a “long-term perspective” was crucial.