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Towards a Meshed North Sea Grid. Policy challenges and potential solutions from a Norwegian perspective

Abstract

Political, regulatory and societal drivers and barriers for the realization of a meshed offshore
grid between North Sea countries is here assessed. The Norwegian context is the point
of departure, but with clear references to relevant processes at the European level. At the
EU level there is an overall drive towards establishing common infrastructure for electricity
distribution across borders, but no concrete measures concerning a meshed grid. At the
Norwegian level, there is currently no clear commitment towards a North Sea Grid
development. Norwegian authorities' approach to off-shore infrastructure, and related
processes in the EU and NSCOGI, has thus far been characterized by a wait-and-see
attitude. The Norwegian approach is characterized by socio-economic perspectives, with
limited attention towards possible long-term and cross-sectoral effects; such as innovation,
and new industrial possibilities. Off-shore wind power development could constitute a
'proxy', and licensing procedures for such installations have been in place for some years,
but without any economic incentives. Furthermore, interconnector projects between
Norway, the UK and Germany could be considered as potential steppingstones towards a
meshed grid. However, harmonization between different national licensing systems stands
out as challenging, and there is limited experience of coordinating the licensing of crossborder
projects. Closely related to this is the question of public acceptance, including the
possible need for on-shore grid upgrading which can trigger local resistance.

Category

Report

Client

  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 228981

Language

English

Author(s)

  • Jørgen Kjetil Knudsen
  • Gerd Blindheim Jacobsen
  • Jens Jacob Kielland Haug

Affiliation

  • SINTEF Energy Research / Termisk energi

Year

2015

Publisher

SINTEF Energi AS

Issue

TR A7478

ISBN

978-82-594-3619-1

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