Energy minister promises action soon to stimulate market for wind power

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If resurrected talks for pan-Scandinavian trading of green energy certificates have not produced a satisfactory result by July, subsidies leading to "increased development" of renewables must be introduced, says Norway's government. At present the only stimulus for investing in wind power in Norway is a purchase price subsidy of just EUR 0.01/kWh. On coming to power, energy minister Åslaug Haga renewed talks with her Swedish counterpart, Maud Olofsson, for a common green certificate market. A stable price for certificates decided by the rules of supply and demand is more likely to prevail in a market with more players and larger volumes of trade. Sales of certificates associated with wind energy production would provide an extra revenue flow to investors beyond that from sales of the physical electricity. Haga's pledge to find some way of stimulating a market for wind power came as part of Norway's "climate neutral by 2030" plan, announced last month, says Marius Gjeset of Zero, a Norwegian energy and environment group. The plan promises NOK 150 million (EUR 18.7 million) in 2009 for a "national strategy" on wind and tidal energy. Late last month, Haga also committed NOK 500 million NOK (EUR 62.16 million) to boosting wind, especially in the power-hungry middle section of the country.

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