Norway will resume its licensing process for onshore wind power developments after a three-year hiatus, limiting it to municipalities that are willing to accommodate the giant turbines, the country’s energy minister said on Friday.
The process of approving new wind power plants was put on hold in 2019 amid a backlash to the construction on previously unspoilt land.
“We are today sending a letter today to NVE (regulator), asking them to re-open the licensing process for onshore wind farms,” Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland told reporters.
However, a pre-requisite for this will be that the host municipality is in favour of potential projects, he added.
Energy lobby group Energi Norge welcomed the decision, stressing wind power was key to the energy transition and keeping power prices in check.
“Without access to new production capacity, we will become more dependent on imports and consistently high prices,” Energi Norge head Knut Kroepelien said in a statement.
Norway’s traditional electricity surplus, predominantly derived from hydropower, is forecast to dwindle in the coming years amid rising demand from the transport and industry sectors.
Europe’s second largest exporter of oil and gas after Russia aims to increase its output of renewable electricity from wind and solar energy while also maintaining significant petroleum production.
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