Offshore wind along the Norwegian coastline has a huge potential, theoretically as much as 13 000 TWh annually! Offshore wind is also by far the most promising cleantech industry where the biggest number of Norwegian offshore oil-and gas workers could be made green. If combined with offshore hydrogen production many of the skilled resources in the oil and gas industry could do a direct swap to a new green sector.
In a short term energy perspective it does not make sense to invest in offshore wind as there are other projects that have a lower cost of energy LCOE. But if the offshore industry is looked at as an opportunity for the industry and also for exporting the power directly, either through cables, or as hydrogen, then a large scale offshore wind development could be carried out without interrupting the national power grid.
The government has set aside fifteen areas that could be used for pilot parks. The only thing that remains is a political consensus that it is time to start.
Personally I did write a few articles on the subject a few years ago, with a special focus on using offshore wind to supply offshore installations with electricity. This would eliminate, or reduce, the need for cables from shore and/or gas turbines offshore.
It is great to see that Equinor is considering offshore wind as a solution for the Tampen project. Lets just hope they go forward with their plans. But Norway should not rely to heavily on Equinor to be the guiding star within this industry as the have other motives that could conflict offshore wind as a solution.