Utility group for green credit trade -- Norway aims to export wind

Half a dozen members of Eurokraft Norge AS, a consortium of 18 Norwegian power companies dealing in long term export contracts, have formed a new company to focus on the sale of renewable energy, including wind power, to the EU electricity market. Norway is not a part of the EU.

Enviro Energi ASA says it will deal in green power credits on the Norwegian and international markets, help producers achieve "maximum income," and advise on "solutions for developing and funding new production of renewable energy."

The founders of the new company believe that efforts by EU member countries to meet their obligations under the Kyoto agreement have vastly increased the potential export market for renewables. Although hydropower is still by far the dominant electricity technology in Norway, wind is especially interesting because "it is windier along the Norwegian coast than most places in Europe [and] therefore we can produce wind power at a price as little as half the price elsewhere, Enviro managing director Leif A Hegna told Norway's Aftenposten newspaper. He compared estimated production costs for wind plant in Norway of NOK 0.25/kWh (EUR 0.034/kWh), with the German wind tariff. Other potential markets included the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark and Sweden, he added.

Despite recent setbacks in the Netherlands (page 35) Hegna says he is confident the renewables market is evolving rapidly and that prospects for sales of green certificates by Norway, particularly in other Nordic countries, are particularly promising.

In a policy paper presented to parliament in November, the Norwegian government called for "an international mandatory certificate market for green electricity" in order to "stimulate an efficient development of electricity based on renewable energy sources in Europe." Earlier in the year, parliament had voted to approve a system of quota trading that would enable companies to buy and sell the right to emit greenhouse gases "in the form of certificates conferring the right to emit a certain quantity of CO2 equivalents."

Enviro Energi is owned by Helgelands

Kraft, Nord-Trøndelag Elektrisitetsverk, Oppland Energi, Troms Kraft, TrønderEnergi and Eurel. Eurel in turn is owned by Agder Energi, Energiselskapet Buskerud, Lyse Energi, Nord-Trøndelag Elektrisitetsverk, Trondheim Elektrisitetsverk, and TrønderEnergi.