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Offshore Wind Energy

Offshore Wind Energy

One of the fastest growing renewable energy sources in Europe

CO2 emissions from oil and gas must decrease, but the consumption of energy increases. That is why we need the production of electricity from wind turbines. What challenges and opportunities come with the construction of new offshore wind farms?

Oil/gas, fisheries and storage of CO2 - the North Sea must be utilized for many purposes, but at the same time, the environment must be preserved. What conflicts arise and how is the marine life affected by offshore wind farms?

The licensing process for the development of offshore wind takes a long time. How can this be done faster without compromising the industries and the environment that are affected by the development?

Wind turbines have a lifespan of around 25 years, but it is expensive to anchor them - and it is expensive to inspect, maintain and repair them. The biggest investment is nevertheless made during the development. How can we make all processes more efficient, so that we ensure the least possible wear and tear and downtime and extract the most energy?

Offshore wind should give us energy at the right time, but in periods with less wind we need other reliable sources of energy, while in other cases we may have an overproduction of energy. How do we store the energy from offshore wind?

This is part of what we are researching at NORCE. Feel free to contact us if you want to collaborate with us.
Annette Fagerhaug Stephansen

Digital Systems Research Director Digital Systems - Bergen


+47 402 23 815

Social acceptance and environmental effects

The exploitation of offshore wind has several societal implications which, if not handled correctly in the planning processes, can lead to conflicts.

At NORCE, we research how different interest groups are involved, and how the public reacts to offshore wind. We research the social aspects of the operation of offshore wind installations, we examine the participation of local and regional subcontractors, and we look at the establishment of value chains.

Many interests want to exploit the resource in the sea. An important part of spatial planning is therefore to facilitate flexible interaction with other industries that operate in the same area, e.g. fisheries, aquaculture and sea transport.

  • NORCE contributes to the mapping and analysis of various interests linked to specific sea areas.
  • For the licensing process to go as quickly as possible, we collect all the necessary data and studies that are required in the documentation of those applying for a license to develop offshore wind.

Local challenges and environmental consequences of offshore wind must also be carefully assessed. In NORCE, we conduct research to be able to evaluate how life in the sea and on land is affected.

  • We use our marine and biological expertise to carry out robust environmental risk assessments relating to technical installations.
  • We contribute knowledge in the transition to large-scale use of renewable energy so that the marine ecosystem is kept intact.
  • We contribute knowledge and recommendations to countries that want to develop marine renewable energy while at the same time taking care of natural diversity and facilitating good marine spatial planning.

Location and design of offshore wind farms

At NORCE, we use our expertise in oil and gas to optimize the planning and installation of offshore wind facilities.

The research covers several aspects of offshore wind, such as the evaluation of geology, safe foundations for cables and turbines, grid connections and integration with other energy systems.

Accurate knowledge of the wind field in and around wind farms, in addition to the stability of the atmosphere, is important for wind farms to be operated efficiently. NORCE has decades of experience in offshore wind.

Optimization, operation and maintenance

Our researchers have high expertise in atmospheric turbulence simulation for dynamic turbine load calculations, CFD wind modelling as well as mesoscale wind farm modelling in the "Weather Research and Forecast" (WRF) model. Our researchers invented and developed the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) for weather forecasting, which is now in use all over the world.

NORCE has previously contributed to WRF's open-source code with an offshore wind module.

NORCE has expertise in applied machine learning, e.g. for real-time prediction of the wind field around an offshore wind farm, and we have expertise in interactive data visualization and uncertainty and sensitivity analysis.

We also offer weather window predictions, operational analyses, optimization of location and management of wind farms and data assimilation for updating models.

The margins in offshore wind are small, significantly smaller than what we are used to from oil and gas.

At NORCE, we use our expertise in design, data collection and analysis, modelling and simulation, optimization, visualization, maintenance support and decision support to develop cost-effective solutions for the operation of offshore wind farms.

At NORCE, we use our expertise within technology to develop and improve solutions for the design of floating wind turbines and structural design.

Offshore wind as part of the energy system

In addition to working with wind, NORCE also works with energy system solutions in their entirety, with solutions linked to specific energy sources such as geothermal, solar and hydrogen.

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