For decades, Norway has subsisted on hydropower and oil extraction. Together, the two natural resources have funded Norwegian schools, hospitals and roads.
Strict laws and high taxes have ensured it. But the same rules do not apply to wind power.
In the report The dark side of wind power From Tax Judge Norway, it appears that at least 40 percent of Norway’s wind power plants are owned and financed through tax havens.
That was the topic of the “debate” that aired tonight:
– We tried to track ownership of Norwegian wind farms that came into operation in 2019. “What we have experienced is that in many cases it is impossible to do so,” said Petter Ringstad, Political Leader of Tax Judge Norway.
The organization works for global tax justice.
– Does it mean you’re bad at searching or can’t find? asked host Fredrik Solwang.
– Ringstad replied that this meant that the ownership had gone to a tax haven and could not be returned.
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– I want to know that
Wind power has been renewed in recent weeks. Not only through the demonstrations against the wind turbines in Fossen, but also through the third season of the NRK series “Exit”.
There is now a large investment in renewable energy throughout Norway. 35 wind farms have already been opened and 16 are under construction.
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Participating in the “debate”, Ot Steenland (Ap) is the mayor of the municipality of Egersund. When Fredrik Solvang asked who owns the Egersund wind farm, Stangeland admitted that he didn’t know – but he wanted to know.
– Like many enterprises in the municipality, the wind farm is owned by foreign owners. “Our challenge is not knowing who the real owners are,” he said.
– Don’t you know who owns the park? did you hear Solwang pressed on.
– The municipality has cooperation with the local operating company. “They’re the ones we’re related to,” Stanland replied.
– Completely storyless
Storting representative Nikolai Astrup (H) was in the studio. However, he believed the debate was a one-sided presentation of the absolutely necessary private investment.
– Without private capital we wouldn’t have wind turbines in Norway, Astrup.
Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, SV’s business policy spokesman, argued for reversing the ownership situation and believed that two-thirds of wind power should be owned by the public sector.
– The reality is the opposite. What innovated Norwegian hydroelectricity? Yes, it is public money. The same applies to the oil industry. The question is who owns the natural resources on which we build our power, Filgesnes continued:
– The answer is obvious. Profit should benefit society and control should be ensured.
The right-wing supremo gave a blunt response to the allegation:
– The Fylkesnes are completely devoid of history when it comes to the development of both the oil industry and the power industry. We will develop more power in a short period of time. Norwegian municipalities are not going to finance it at the cost of building hospital places, nursery places and schools. They don’t have that chance.
– We will need a lot of private capital when we are going to invest up to NOK 1,000 billion by 2040, said Astrup.
– Should have returned to society
Norway’s second largest wind farm, Telenes, is located in Rogaland. Recently, TV 2 revealed that the wind farm is owned by several companies In countries with little or no tax, including an island in the Caribbean Sea.
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Foreign owners pay minimal taxes in Norway, but still move large sums out of the country.
– Here is money that should have gone back to society, which is being cheated in very cunning ways, says Jonas Andersen Said (KrF), mayor of the municipality of Sogndal, after presenting the findings to TV 2.
According to investigations by TV 2, Norwegian wind farms had a turnover of at least NOK 1.4 billion last year.
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