Norwegian energy regulator NVE has announced that it has acknowledged 13 areas it contemplates to be the most appropriate for developing new onshore wind farms, customarily in the country's south, it said.
Wind power investments are thriving in Norway as development costs fall, with some 1.8 gigawatt (GW) of capacity under construction to add to its prevailing operating farms of 1.7 GW.
The 13 areas comprise 16,705 square kilometres (6,449.84 square miles) of recommended land and were selected from a total of 43 zones that were being deliberated, the water resources and energy directorate (NVE) believed in a proposal to the ministry of petroleum and energy.
"These areas are pointed out by weighing production conditions and network capacity against the effects on the environment and society," ΝVE held.
While NVE's analysis exhibited many areas in northern Norway had better conditions for wind power, most designated areas were in the south due to restricted network capacity in the north and large areas used by reindeer herders.
Many of Norway's native Samis oppose wind farms as the construction work and roads associated with the projects can destroy or degrade lands traditionally used by the reindeer.
By recognizing preferred areas for wind power, the NVA hopes to streamline the approval process, although projects must still be scrutinized individually, it alleged.
At the end of 2018, there were 610 operational wind turbines in Norway, spread over 35 different power plants. These have a total installed power of 1695 megawatt, and will in a normal year have total production of 5.3 terawatt hours (TWh).
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