Greek-Norwegian collaboration in offshore wind gains momentum through EEA Grants

The Greek delegation visited sites in Norway. Here at Aibel in Haugesund.
by Martine Farstad
EU Adviser

A significant development in the partnership between Greece and Norway in the offshore wind sector was marked by a high-profile visit of a Greek delegation to Norway on 5th and 6th February.

The delegation, consisting of 15 representatives from Greek companies and organisations, including major players in the wind energy sector such as PPC Renewables, Faria Renewables, Helleniq Energy ETME/FloatMast, and iWind, alongside representatives from the Greek public authority equivalent to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Department, HEREMA.

This visit was a collaborative effort between Norwegian Offshore Wind and the Greek wind association ELETAEN, supported by EEA Grants. Through the EEA Grants "Business Innovation Greece" programme, the collaboration aims to rapidly advance cooperation between Greek and Norwegian entities in the offshore wind sector.

-With this visit, we aim to highlight Norway's expertise in floating offshore wind. Delegates gained valuable insights into the latest floater technologies and explored opportunities to leverage Norway's offshore oil and gas legacy for the benefit of offshore wind initiatives. This marks another significant stride in connecting Greek and Norwegian offshore wind companies, enhancing the competitiveness of both nations in this sector, says Tor Arne Johnsen, who is responsible for the Greek market in Norwegian Offshore Wind. 

Discussions during the visit emphasised the common challenges and bottlenecks faced by both nations, underscoring the importance of closer cooperation. A key focus of the partnership is to advance the establishment of offshore wind farms in Greece, capitalising on the region's highly promising potential in this sector, with the aim of making the first projects operational by 2030.

Many meetings during the visit.

Important steps made in Greece

Aligned with Greece's national strategy for offshore wind development, a detailed framework for the development of floating offshore wind farms in Greece's maritime space has been provided. The National Program for Offshore Wind Development, guided by a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA), identifies planned Offshore Wind Farm Organized Development Areas (OWFODA). Next steps involve issuing exploration licenses, allowing a research period for approved parties, specifying installation areas, and organising auctions for operational support.

The Greek National Offshore Wind Farm Development Plan, prepared by HEREMA and published in October 2023, sets the stage for the potential OWFDA. The plan outlines 10 areas for medium-term development totalling 4.9 GW, with a significant emphasis on floating structures. Additionally, two pilot projects, together totalling 600 MW and 13 areas for long-term development totalling 6.9 GW are envisioned, further reinforcing Greece's commitment to clean and sustainable energy.

During the delegation's fully packed visit, participants delved into DNV's offshore wind strategies, legal insights from Simonsen Vogt Wig, and dynamic pitching sessions on the first day. Day two featured a tour of Aibel yard in Haugesund, encounters with industry leaders like Source Galileo and Deep Wind Offshore, and an exploration of cutting-edge innovations at Moreld Ocean Winds offices in Stavanger. The journey showcased a fusion of strategy, legal intricacies, and on-site marvels, making significant strides in Greek-Norwegian offshore wind collaboration.

The visit was supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014-2021, in the frame of the Programme "Business Innovation Greece", within the project GR-INNO-SGS2 Soft Measures - HWEA/ELETAEN.

-We are very grateful to Simonsen Vogt Wiig, DNV, Source Galileo, Aibel, and Moreld Ocean Wind for hosting us, says Johnsen. 

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