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Norway

Norway

Norway - Green certificate scheme boosts development

NORWAY: Although the first year of Norway's new incentive scheme for renewables saw only two turbines built, the market is very active and this should continue into 2013, with the first projects coming online by early 2014.

Last year, Norway joined Sweden's green certificate scheme which obliges energy providers to source a percentage of their energy from renewable sources.

Norway's wind industry has benefited from joining the scheme, according to David Williams, senior consultant in GL Garrad Hassan's strategy and policy unit.

"Historically, Norway did not provide wind developers with as high an incentive, so a low wind site in Sweden was more economically viable than a high wind speed site in Norway. Once this was normalised by Norway joining the same scheme there were far more economically viable sites available in Norway than in Sweden," he explains.

Some large onshore projects are due for completion this year, including the 55MW Step Two Midtfjellet wind farm in Hordaland, south west Norway, which secured financing in January. The 770MW Fosen cluster, which comprises four projects on the west coast's Fosen peninsula, is waiting for final permission and a transmission line.

Norway capacity pieNorway installed 141MW in 2012. This seems like a large increase considering only 43MW were added the previous year, but several large projects were in the process of coming online at the end of 2011, but were not fully operational so could not be included in official figures for that year.

Norwegian transmission operator Statnett has now invested NOK 70 billion (EUR 9.42 billion) to update the central grid system. The government has decided to build cables overhead rather than underground, which would have cost three times more. The plan faced strong opposition as it went through what is deemed to be some of Norway's most beautiful countryside. Discussions are ongoing as to who will pay for it. Producers are under pressure to pay as much as possible.

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