Offshore wind is positioned as the renewable energy source of the future in Norway and globally. Offshore wind is considered an important part of the solution to the climate crisis, energy security and as a catalyst for economic growth. Moreover, the notion that offshore wind is "out of sight and out of mind" suggests that it will not create conflicts on land. However, if the offshore wind venture is to be successful, we must understand what challenges and opportunities it creates in the affected coastal regions.
Local protests are growing in coastal municipalities in Agder, which is positioned as a key region for Norwegian offshore wind development. Offshore wind is very land-intensive, and this puts pressure on land management, natural values, democratic procedures, and economic distribution. International experience shows that offshore wind can be just as challenging as onshore wind, but there is a lack of knowledge about how offshore wind affects coastal communities.
WINDREG explores how offshore wind affects land-based natural values, spatial planning, socio-economic development, management and planning across several levels of government. Using the Agder region as a case, we focus on the development of more energy-just tools and management models that can ensure comprehensive environmental and social planning on land. We focus on which groups' values, interests and knowledge are being heard in offshore wind development, which ways public participation and transparency in decision-making processes are ensured, and how economic disadvantages and benefits from offshore wind are being distributed fairly.
WINDREG co-creates interdisciplinary scientific knowledge in collaboration with a wide range of relevant partners and uses learning cases from Great Britain and Denmark. Utsira functions as a national learning case. The project develops recommendations for improved policy, planning and governance measures for energy justice in regional transition processes.
Off-shore wind (OW) development in the North Sea is increasingly positioned to tackle climate change, energy security, and stimulate economic growth. OW installations generate large opportunities and challenges for onshore regional development. Academic institutions, public authorities, and private stakeholders are collaborating to position Agder as the core OW region in Norway with several coastal sites and harbors for OW installations and industry services. There is an urgent need to understand how OW affects socio-environmental values and spatial planning, socio-economic development, and conditions for governance and integrated planning across several government levels and stakeholders. WINDREG explores the OW region of Agder and learns from exemplary international learning cases. The project questions: 1) what socio-environmental conflicts emerges, how they are mapped and how can countermapping increase recognitional justice, 2) what are key socio-economic challenges and opportunities in regional OW development and how can more challenge-oriented regional innovation systems support distributional justice, 3) What governance challenges emerge in OW regional transitions and how can municipal and regional modes of governance ensure procedural justice? And 4) How does multi-actor network develop and define policy guidelines and governance models for energy justice in regional OW transitions. WINDREG co-creates cross-disciplinary scientific knowledge (geography, law, planning, regional development) of an emerging new industrial venture in collaboration with a broad range of relevant stakeholders. Theoretically, it contributes to develop and operationalize energy justice in regional transitions, and to connect energy justice to challenge-oriented regional innovation systems. The project develops policy recommendations for improved policy, planning and governance measures for energy justice in regional transitions.