Norway's renewables boss backs EU – asks government to say yes to controversial energy package

Norway's renewables boss backs EU – asks government to say yes to controversial energy package

– This is an obligation for us EEA members, with all the benefits it gives us, Haga points out to NTB.

EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simpson, who visited Norway on Thursday, caused a stir when he said that Norway should soon introduce the so-called Clean Energy Package.

It has been nearly five years since the EU adopted the package, and Norway's recession could have consequences, he warned.

Raised bust

This prompted Marit Arnstadt, the parliamentary leader of the Center Party, to stand up and call Simpson's statements “unheard of”.

Prime Minister Jonas Karstor (AP) said on Friday that it was up to Norway to decide.

In an interview with NTB in October last year, Simpson said Norway should merge the controversial energy package.

– Simpson said that being part of the energy market there are general rules that must be respected.

The EEA Agreement gives Norway access to the EU's internal market. But at the same time, Norway must follow the same market rules as everyone else. Therefore, most EU legislation should be incorporated into Norwegian regulations.

– No need to be surprised

Haga, a former SP manager, fully agrees with Simpson.

– What one should not be irritated by on the Norwegian side is that there is an expectation in the EU that the EEA regulations will be implemented. So, he says, no one should be surprised that this is coming from the side of the European Union.

Almost 500 EU legal acts await incorporation into the EEA Agreement. 60 of them apply to the energy sector.

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– There is a big backlog, and we formally argue that there should be speed in the implementation of regulations in an area that is important for both Norway and the environment and the climate, Haga says.

Irritation in Brussels

In Brussels, there is obvious irritation that Norway is lagging so far behind. “Cherry picking” is a term used.

But when it comes to the clean energy package, there is little to indicate that there is specific progress. This is not least because energy giant Acer has been given a large chunk of the operation, something the Center Party is particularly opposed to. Rod will veto this package as well.

When NTB spoke to Energy Minister Terje Ösland (AP) in Brussels in January, he confirmed that Norway was negotiating with the EU about so-called changes to the energy market package. Negotiations may end.

– We work well with it, is all Asland wanted to say.

From NTB's understanding, the government plans to consolidate the package bit by bit in Norway. Simple legal actions are drawn up first, while controversial ones like Acer's have to wait until the end.

(©NPK)

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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