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Offshore Wind in Norway' sent out for public consultation

The Norwegian ministry for Petroleum and Energy has today sent the report ’Offshore Wind in Norway – Suggested Areas for SEA’ out for public consultation. The report considers technical, economic, environmental, and geographical aspects of offshore wind power development. 15 areas have been singled out for potential strategic environmental assessment (SEA). In addition, a plan for the SEA has been suggested. An SEA will be carried out before areas can be made available for the development of offshore energy production.

-Before I settle on a final plan for the SEAs, I would like to hear the public views of the plan suggested by the directorates. I also welcome recommendations on which of the 15 areas that should be given priority in the first round of the SEAs, says the Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Terje Riis-Johansen.

The areas recommended for further investigation stretch from the southern part of the North Sea to the Barents Sea in the north (see map). The report is prepared by a group of directorates consisting of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (DN), the Directorate for Fisheries (FD), the Norwegian Coastal Administration (KV), and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (OD). In addition, the energy and petroleum industry, the fishing industry, environmental organizations, and other relevant parties have been included in the work.

-Until now, the decision making process has been open. Interested parties have been invited to present their views. I would like to continue this practice by issuing the report on a round of public consultation, says Riis-Johansen.

Consulted parties are asked to forward their comments to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy no later than January 31. 2011.