Norway’s government has proposed allocating the 1.5GW Ustira North floating wind zone based on “qualitative criteria” aiming to drive “innovation and technology development”, and not as a conventional auction as the first phase of the same-sized Southern North Sea 2 area, which is sited in shallower waters.

“Floating offshore wind has the potential to become an important source of renewable energy worldwide, and also on the Norwegian shelf,” petroleum and energy minister Terje Aasland said.