Norway abandons green energy market with Sweden

Norway’s government has abandoned a plan to create a market with Sweden for renewable energy certificates that Norway said is too expensive for Norwegian consumers and industry, energy officials said February 27.

The neighboring Nordic nations initially targeted a January 2006 start up for a Norwegian-Swedish market in renewable energy certificates, known as green certificates, but last year Norway delayed that plan to the beginning of 2007.

Green certificates are marketable documents issued to producers of power from renewable resources such as small-scale hydropower, and solar and wind power. Generators can sell the certificates to consumers who can use them to demonstrate compliance with rules, such as quota systems, on consumption of renewable energy.

Certificates called too costly for smaller Norway

Developers of some renewable power projects, such as big planned wind parks off Norway, have said the projects will not be viable without a joint Norwegian-Swedish green certificate scheme.

An energy ministry spokeswoman said the green certificate scheme would not be affordable for Norwegians because of the lower amount of renewable power that would be generated in Norway, which has a population of just 4.6 million.

“Since we are just half the number of inhabitants as in Sweden it makes it twice as costly,” spokeswoman Sissel Edvardsen said.

The ministry said Norway instead would strengthen its focus on already established incentives, adding it would boost its commitment to heating based on biofuels and on energy efficiency.

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