The government has put forward a concrete proposal to impose a ground rent tax on land-based wind energy. The tax rate has now been set lower than initially set, but the industry remains unsatisfied. The point here must be not to slow down new wind energy development by imposing excessively high taxes.
Initially, an additional 40 percent tax on wind energy companies was proposed. Now, the government’s participation has decreased to 35 percent, and good transitional arrangements have been made. But the wind energy industry is still not satisfied.
“This is not good enough to stimulate the country’s need for new energy,” says Aslaug Haga, president of Fornibar Norge. She hopes Parliament will make further improvements.
But this is not just about financing. Local acceptance of new wind turbines must also be created throughout the country. Wind energy development almost stopped under Erna Solberg. It is therefore positive that the Storr Government is taking new steps. At least half of the new tax on wind energy must go to host municipalities. The lure of such a carrot appears to be a reasonable way to create greater local acceptance of new wind energy projects.
In large parts of the country, homes are far apart.
In order to prevent the global temperature from rising too much, more and more renewable energy must replace fossil energy. Modernization of hydroelectric power plants must be the first priority. Moreover, there must be investment in solar and wind energy. Only ten percent of this country’s total energy production comes from wind energy.
The challenge is that many Norwegians support wind energy, as long as it doesn’t happen in their backyard. But in large parts of the country there is a long distance between homes, so there must be many areas where there is little or no wind power.
There is a good and long tradition in Norway that the values created through the use of our shared natural resources also benefit society through taxation of the so-called ground rent. For more than a hundred years, hydroelectric power has been taxed. The special tax on oil and gas extraction was introduced in 1975. This special tax has contributed to the fact that today we have NOK 15,000 billion in the oil fund, which in turn means that NOK 410 billion can be used next year for good purposes. Purposes of the state budget.
The same thinking was behind the additional tax on salmon farming. Now that wind energy is in charge, it makes perfect sense. The government has exemplarily listened to the wind energy industry’s input, but perhaps more demands should be made here. No one benefits from a tax that slows the development of new onshore wind energy. There is a difference between shaving and cutting your beard.
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