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The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy pushes the play button: Licensing for onshore wind to be picked up again

The Norwegian government has decided to instruct the regulatory authority NVE to pick up again the handling of new license applications for onshore wind farms. Licensing for new onshore wind farms has been on hold for approximately three years, in the wake of widespread local opposition to new wind projects.

The instruction to resume has been given in a letter to NVE, in which the conditions and requirements for new projects are indicated. Of particular importance is the need for support from the local municipalities effected by the projects. Projects subject to local opposition are therefore highly unlikely to be awarded licenses.

Further, the formal meeting of cabinet on Friday 8 April 2022 approved a new white paper to parliament. This white paper supplements the white paper on energy policy drafted by the previous cabinet and sent to parliament in the summer of 2021.

Large industrial offtakers have already expressed their satisfaction with the long-awaited green light for new onshore projects. Unusually high power prices since the fall of 2021 have caused uncertainty for large and small consumers alike. Although the price-dampening effects will not be felt for years, today’s decision signals a shift and a step towards the realisation of much-needed increases in Norwegian domestic power supply.