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Norway’s First Wind Farm on Hold After Lack of Political Support

Wind turbines stand off-shore at Scroby Sands, Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, U.K. Photographer: Graham Barclay/Bloomberg
Wind turbines stand off-shore at Scroby Sands, Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, U.K. Photographer: Graham Barclay/Bloomberg

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Norway put development of its first planned offshore wind farm on hold until further notice, with the company involved citing a lack of political support, a setback in European efforts to boost renewable energy production.

“The necessary support for offshore wind from political leaders is absent,” causing wind power developer Vestavind Offshore AS to halt the construction of a 350-megawatt wind farm until further notice, Wenche Teigland, chairman of the board, said today on the company website.

Norway has some of Europe’s best conditions for wind power production, with strong winds distributed across large areas and the potential to install as much as 30,000 megawatts of offshore turbine capacity, according to the country’s energy and water directorate.

Norway could increase annual electricity output from wind power and hydro sources by 13.2 terawatt-hours over the next eight years, and boosting the amount of renewable energy as a proportion of total energy use by 7.5 percentage points from 2005 levels to 67.5 percent, according to a study commissioned by the Norwegian power industry association.

In 2009, Vestavind Offshore obtained a license from Norway’s ministry of petroleum and energy to build the country’s first full-scale offshore wind farm, Havsul-1, in the central region. The showcase farm was intended to produce 1 terawatt-hours annually, enough to supply 50,000 households, and pave the way for further projects.

“Either political priorities need to change, or we must wait for technological developments to make offshore wind power competitive,” Teigland said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Torsten Fagerholm in Helsinki at tfagerholm@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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