Potentially another dawn for Scandinavian certificate trade

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Norwegian energy minister Aaslaug Haga wants to revive plans for a common market for trade of renewable energy certificates between Sweden and Norway. She hopes to resume talks with Sweden once new European Union renewable energy goals are outlined at the beginning of 2008 (page 35). Talks between the two countries came to a halt back in 2006 when Norway pulled out of cross border trade of certificates, criticising Sweden's opposition to including hydro as an eligible green energy source and its production incentive payments for wind power of SEK 0.20/kWh (EUR 0.02/kWh) as being too high (Windpower Monthly, March 2006). The derailment, combined with Norway eventually setting its own domestic subsidy for wind at just NOK 0.08/kWh (EUR 0.009/kWh) resulted in a near total freeze of Norway's fledgling wind market. Companies like Statkraft and Fred Olsen Renewables pulled out of Norwegian wind power development, turning to Sweden and the UK instead to build projects. Without policy action, the country is unlikely to meet its wind goal for 3 TWh of electricity a year by 2010. Haga says that if cross-border talks fail, Norway will "update" its rules for stimulating renewable production, although increasing the purchase price subsidy is not included in the minister's 2008 budget. Welcoming Haga's announcement, Marius Gjerset of Norway's renewable energy lobby group says it needs to be backed up with aggressive action, including an increase in Norway's wind goal to at least 20 TWh by 2016.

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