September 9, 2009

Norway to usher in law diverting oil profits to renewables

The Norwegian government plans to introduce a law in the next parliamentary term forcing oil companies to pay 1% of profits to the country's renewable energy sector.

The purpose is to make oil companies increase their investments in renewable energy, said Silje Schei Tveitdal.

"The oil industry must participate in the transition to a low carbon economy," she said, adding that the state-owned Statoilhydro will have to oblige as well as other companies operating in Norway. This is despite the oil and gas firm's existing significant involvement in the renewable sector, especially offshore wind. The exact provisions of the law are yet to be decided on, but hopes are for it to take effect as soon as possible into the next term.

Plans are also afoot to increase the share invested by the country's state renewable energy fund and a sustainable investment programme aimed at emerging markets, estimated at 20 billion Norwegian Kroner ($3.3 billion) to be invested over a five-year period.

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