Norwegian wind industry and communities unite in call for wind taxes

The Norwegian wind industry and regional authorities call on parliament to introduce taxes to benefit local communities

Wind power is being debated in Norway's parliament, the Storting (pic: Stortinget)

Norwegian renewables industry groups have called on the country's parliament to introduce an environmental and a natural resource tax for wind farms -– both of which have long been advocated by the likes of Energi Norge and the Norwegian Wind Energy Association (Norwea).

The trade groups have called for the plans to be authorised in an energy act to guide licencing processes for new wind projects.

It is the latest in a series of proposed changes to the Norwegian wind power sector – including more stringent local scrutiny and stricter turbine height limits and setback requiements – ahead of a new government framework being drawn up.

The letter was signed by Energi Norge, Norwea, Energy Social Enterprises, the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities, the National Association of Wind Power Municipalities (LVNK) and other municipal groups and power industry associations. 

It called for a more predictable system that helps disadvantaged communities and better facilitates the use of natural resources.

The letter to the Storting – Norway’s parliament – called for a natural resource tax, whereby adjustments must be considered to make sure that local communities are properly compensated in a “targeted manner”.

Øyvind Isachsen, CEO of Norwea, told Windpower Monthly: “What we have is a historic agreement between the renewable industry and the associations representing local and regional authorities on the need for targeted compensation to wind power municipalities.

“We have not concluded in terms of details and level, but the level of compensation must be perceived as just and appropriate, without undermining the long-term competitiveness of the renewables sector.”

With parliament currently debating wind power, Isachsen said the accord comes at a critical time.

“This is a first step, an agreement between payers and receivers of compensation. Government still needs to act – but with this strong message and recent signals from parliament, we remain hopeful that the process of getting a compensation mechanism into place will begin soon," he added.

Parliament will discuss these topics ahead of publishing a white paper on licensing reform launched by the government earlier this year on wind power next month.