Norway heads for green tag trade

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The Norwegian government has decided to follow Sweden's lead and set up a market for trade of green energy certificates to support production from renewable sources of energy. The aim, following parliamentary agreement, is to create a Nordic market for green tag trade, possibly in early 2005.

Toril Swaan from the Oil and Energy Ministry confirms that discussions have started, and although no deadline has been set for when the market will come into force, the government has asked for a proposal from the ministry over how and when it should happen. The ministry is to report back in the spring, but much will depend on ongoing talks with its Swedish counterparts, according to Swaan.

"It can take time for such things, but we hope to have a clearer idea after more consultation with people in Sweden. There are differing views over the system and its benefits, but in general I would say that the feeling from most companies looking at building wind power plants is a positive one, and the increased international market can only be a good thing for them. We know that smaller producers are less in favour of the scheme, but we hope to carry on with our discussions and find the most viable solution," says Swaan.

The Norwegian Windpower Association has reacted to the news with scepticism and is far from convinced that introduction of a market for green tag trade will herald the suggested rush in development. "We have been closely watching what has happened in Sweden since the system was introduced, but we still feel that it has many drawbacks for our members," says the association's Jan Rudd. "There are certainly some good aspects to it, but I don't think it offers the industry the kind of stability we would like. What we want is a fixed price system."

Norwegians are not the only people keeping an eye on the Swedish wind market. Finland is also said to be considering introducing a green certificates system.

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