This thesis discusses the joint initiative for creating a test and demonstration park for the development of Norwegian offshore wind power, a working programme coined Demo2020. The project aims to gain necessary experience and lay the premises for Norway to become an international champion providing the best technology available in offshore wind power throughout the whole supply-chain, both institutionally, industrially and through research & development. The initial goal is to make Norwegian technology competitive for a planned large build-up of offshore wind power development around the North Sea.
Through the innovation theory framework Strategic Niche Management (SNM), the thesis examines how the development of the working programme has been developed, and its prospects to win political support on a broad scale. The latter is crucial for the project to reach implementation. However, the findings in the thesis point to major obstacles threatening project implementation. The most obvious is that the petroleum-based industrial regime in Norway is controlled by strong interests both industrially and through the wealth-governing Ministries of Petroleum, Industry and Finance. In a time with demand of climate-friendly solutions, several other industrial initiatives are striving for political favour, thus creating a competition for public necessary attention.
Thus, the Demo2020 initiative needs to be thoroughly managed to gain the necessary political support. Based on a SNM analysis, I have found that the project suffers from weak management, and limited awareness of both the internal and external reverse salients. The thesis discusses thereby relevant policy recommendations and strategies to be pursued for helping immature renewable energy technologies in general, across the so-called “valley of death” and to policy-aided commercialization.
Key words: Norway, offshore wind power, immature technology development, innovation policies, strategic niche management.