SUPPORTING POLICIES FOR OCEAN ENERGY
Norway has no special policy for ocean energy, but ocean energy is included in more general renewable energy policies and programmes.
In 2011, Norway and Sweden signed an agreement for a joint green certificate market. One certificate per MWh would, from 2012, be given to all new renewable energy generation in 15 years, independent of technology.
The price per certificate is driven by the market with a common target of 26.4 TWh by the end of 2020. The total compensation (el-spot + certificate) for the renewable producers is in the long term believed to be approximately €50-55/MWh. A total income in this range is almost certainly not enough for wave and tidal projects in the next decade. Instead, the governmental support programmes for research and development are intended to drive the development.
PUBLIC FUNDING PROGRAMMES
The Norwegian Energy Agency, Enova, offers capital grants for full-scale demonstration projects of ocean renewable production. While up to 50% of eligible costs can be covered, Enova’s funding measured in absolute figures is limited. In addition, Enova has a programme that supports demonstration of new energy technology, on the basis that the technology is applied in Norway.
Innovation Norway runs a programme supporting prototypes within “environmental friendly technology”. Ocean energy is included in this definition. Projects are supported with up to 45% of eligible costs.
The Research Council of Norway runs an energy research programme called ENERGIX. This programme supports R&D within all renewable energy technologies. For 2014, these three institutions had a combined budget of approximately €110 million.
MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING POLICY
The Ocean Energy Bill, which regulates offshore renewable energy production entered into force on 1 July 2010. According to this new legislation, licences to build offshore wind, wave and tidal farms in certain far shore geographical areas cannot be given without a prior governmental process where suitable areas are identified. This legal framework is very much inspired by similar legislation in the Norwegian petroleum sector.
As a follow up on the Ocean Energy Bill, a group of relevant governmental bodies has identified 15 areas that could be suitable for large scale offshore wind power. More detailed “strategic consequence assessments” were finalized in late 2012.
PERMITTING AND LICENSING PROCESS FOR OCEAN ENERGY PROJECTS
The licensing body NVE continues to prioritize small scale demonstration projects located near shore according to the existing Ocean Energy Bill. The licensing process is efficient and pragmatic since the demonstration projects are small in physical installations and operation time.tration of new energy technology.
Runde Environmental Centre (REC), located on Runde Island on the Norwegian west coast, can accommodate WEC plants for test and demonstration at several sites. One has a 3 km/0.5 MW sea cable to shore with grid connection. REC facilitates preparations, licensing, deployment and monitoring of the WECs, and works also on other forms of ocean energy, building national competence and capacity. The next WEC developer to deploy is Waves4power. Planning for a facility for testing of tidal energy devices at Brevik (Drammen) is in progress, in cooperation with REC.
Stadt Towing Tank (STT) was founded in 2007 to deliver test and research services to the marine industry. The main market for STT has been ship designers in the maritime cluster of north-western Norway, but projects related to renewable energy have also been tested.