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When establishing offshore wind as a new industry, it is important to build up a good EHS culture from the start.

In order to have the best possible basis for further discussion on how the EHS regulations for offshore wind in Norway should be designed, we prepared in August 2021 the report "Recommendation on how the EHS regulations for offshore wind should be developed".

The report was an input to the authorities' work with EHS regulations for offshore wind. The report provides an overview of how the environment, health and safety regulations (EHS regulations) for wind power are structured onshore in Norway, and for offshore wind in Denmark and Great Britain.

It has been composed by Offshore Norge with contributions from:

  • Knut Støle Hanssen - Aker Offshore Wind
  • Ruth Hilde Sætre - Equinor
  • Thor Inge Throndsen - Equinor
  • Anne Marie Wahlstrøm - DNV
  • Anne Lene Haukanes - DNV
  • Claudia Hauge - Statkraft
  • Maria Bjelland Botne - Offshore Norway
  • Øystein Joranger - Offshore Norway

The report's recommendations

Offshore wind farms are normally unmanned, and the primary area of application for an EHS regulation will be the health and safety of personnel who carry out inspection and maintenance work on the plants. Based on our review, Offshore Norge believes that EHS regulation will in the long run be covered by the Working Environment Act and associated regulations. We therefore support that the Working Environment Act is enforced and we believe that the internal control regulations should apply. The following points should be addressed in further work with EHS regulations for offshore wind:

  • There should not be a new set of regulations for EHS for renewable energy modeled on the rules that apply to the petroleum industry.
  • Regulations for EHS for renewable energy at sea should follow existing relevant regulations as far as these are applicable, and must be interpreted equally on land and at sea. Only in cases where a concrete need has been documented should the current rules be supplemented with regulatory provisions.
  • The internal control regulations should be made applicable to offshore wind.
  • Technical requirements for power plants should be assessed in a regulated manner and managed by the Norwegian Directorate of Waterways and Energy (NVE), which is responsible for processing and approving detailed plans for the development of offshore energy facilities.
  • Any need for technical requirements for load-bearing structures can be determined by Ptil in accordance with Section 5-1 second paragraph of the Marine Energy Act.
  • It is necessary to carry out a review of the EEA regulations in relation to the Ocean Energy Act.
  • Emergency situations can be addressed in a guide from the authorities similar to that in the UK, as the license holder must take care of the first phase of rescue and medical preparedness and could also have an alternative to transport injured personnel to a safe area.
  • The Global Wind Organization (GWO) prepares standards for safety training for both offshore wind and onshore wind power. GWO Basic Safety Training is internationally recognized safety training and should also be recognized as safety training for work on offshore wind farms in Norway.

Contact person

Øystein Joranger
Lawyer/Manager, Regulations and strategy