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Norway to change depreciation rules

NORWAY: The Norwegian government is set to change its depreciation rules, giving a boost to the country's lagging wind industry.

Changes to Norway's depreciation rules would make the country a more attractive investment
Changes to Norway's depreciation rules would make the country a more attractive investment

The change to depreciation would bring Norway's rules in line with neighbouring Sweden.

A 2012 pact between Norway and Sweden to jointly develop renewable energy projects was intended to spur the development of an estimated 6GW of wind capacity across both countries.

But in 2013, Norway installed just 62MW, while Sweden added 677MW. The Norwegian Wind Energy Association (NORWEA) blamed a difference in depreciation rules that makes Sweden a more attractive investment.

Now, the Norwegian government is looking to change the laws to make wind projects in the country more profitable. The changes are due to be finalised by June.

NORWEA adviser Lars Granlund said the new rules would increase the return from wind projects by NOK 0.03/kWh (€0.003/kWh).

Granlund said developers in Sweden would cover the costs of wind projects in five years, but under the old Norwegian rules, it would take 12-15 years for developers to recover the costs.

"The changes would increase the net worth of projects in Norway," Granlund added.

Much of Norway's renewable energy comes from hydro power. By increasing wind power the country could save its water reserves for dry seasons.

Norway has also approved two interconnectors — one with Germany and another with the UK — to export its hydro power and to import wind generated electricity.

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