Talk of levy on fossil and nuclear to fund renewables

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Finland's trade and industry ministry is considering proposals to introduce a windfall levy on utilities as well as fossil fuel and nuclear power generators. The money raised will be used to fund investment in renewables, with the largest chunk already earmarked for onshore and offshore wind development. "Right now we are looking for a suitable model under which utilities would have an obligation to transfer windfall profits into a special fund," says Taisto Turunen, director general of the ministry's energy department. "At this stage we are considering a possible model. We expect a proposal for a scheme to emerge from this process in May or June." The introduction of such a levy would require new legislation. "If there is to be a special fund it may not happen until 2007 at the earliest and how big a part of the annual windfall profits could be earmarked for this purpose would be a political decision," says Turunen, adding, however, that around EUR 40 million a year could be expected to be raised.

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