Chairman of Norwegian Offshore Wind Passes the Baton

Gunnar Birkeland has been director of the board since 2019. PHOTO: Thomas Mortveit
by Arne Vatnøy
Communication manager

In January, Norwegian Offshore Wind will choose a new steering committee. After five years, Chairman Gunnar Birkeland is now ready to hand over the reins to a representative from the supplier industry.

Since its inception in 2019, Norwegian Offshore Wind (NOW) has grown to become Norway's largest industrial cluster, with nearly 400 members. Gunnar Birkeland, CEO of Source Galileo Norway, has been instrumental as chairman in the remarkable growth.

-In many ways, Norwegian Offshore Wind is a reflection of how the Norwegian offshore wind industry has gained momentum in recent years. Leading the steering committee during this period has been incredibly exciting, and I am proud of everything we have accomplished, says Birkeland.

A new steering committee will be elected at a member meeting in Stavanger in January. Birkeland will not seek re-election. The cluster will choose a new chairman representing the supply chain industry, similar to Birkeland when he took on the role.

Birkeland has followed offshore wind development with great interest for many years and is a prominent figure in the industry. Last year, he transitioned from the supplier side at Unitech Offshore to the developer side as the head of Source Galileo Norway.

In many ways, Norwegian Offshore Wind is a reflection of how the Norwegian offshore wind industry has gained momentum in recent years

Gunnar Birkeland, CEO of Source Galileo Norway

-Given the composition of the membership, it is important that Norwegian Offshore Wind has a chairman from the supplier side, says Birkeland. He will make himself available to the nominating committee as a board member. Birkeland sits on the government-appointed board advising on offshore wind export and will bring valuable input from Norwegian Offshore Wind members into that work.

-Gunnar has been an incredibly important driving force for our members as the leader of the steering group. He is clear, courageous, and motivating, and his decisive actions have benefited an entire industry, says Arvid Nesse, head of Norwegian Offshore Wind.

Since its inception, NOW has become a significant export player and influenced the political processes around the planned offshore wind parks in Norway. All consortia that have announced their intention to apply for Southern North Sea II and Utsira Nord are represented, with members spanning the entire spectrum of the supply chain. In a few years, the organization has also established the industry's key meeting places: the offshore wind conference every autumn and the international festival for floating offshore wind, Floating Wind Days in Haugesund.

-There are many knowledgeable and committed people in this industry. We are confident that we will bring in new and exciting forces to help us build a world-leading supply chain for offshore wind, says Nesse. NOW has a clear strategy to bring more women into the steering committee.

All representatives are formally up for election, but it is likely that several will be re-elected. Norwegian Offshore Wind will also expand the steering group with more representatives, given the growth in membership. The steering group will be elected by members at the January meeting, and a nominating committee led by Simon Næsse has been appointed to present a recommendation to the member meeting.

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