Norway lags behind in solar energy, according to Anne-Marie Berg of the Millennium Development Goals. It suggests a number of measures to change that.
In July 2021, the state support rate for investment in solar panels was reduced by 5,000 NOK.
A step in the wrong direction, says MDG, who now wants an electric roof for self-produced electricity from rooftops. The party will also expand the subsidy scheme, so that housing associations and commercial buildings can also receive state support to invest in self-produced solar energy.
Electricity prices are now soaring, in large part due to lower rainfall and lower water levels in our tanks, along with higher electricity prices in Europe. Solar power can give people all over Norway the opportunity to lower their electricity bills and at the same time make money off their electricity production, Lan Marie Berg, the first MDG candidate in Oslo in the parliamentary elections this fall, tells Nettavisen.
It will make the investment more profitable
The Millennium Development Goals propose doubling the amount of support private homeowners can apply for from Enova, the government’s subsidy scheme.
Today, that limit is NOK 26,250, which includes a one-time subsidy and a specific subsidy for each kilowatt of power the plant will produce. The Millennium Development Goal wants to double the amount to 52,500 NOK.
According to cost information from Enova and from the company Otovo for solar cells, it can cost up to 80,000-120,000 kroner for a plant that produces 4000-5000 kWh per year. With the current subsidy scheme, this means that you have to use the plant for about 20 years before paying off the investment in the solar cells – using self-produced electricity rather than buying it from your electricity provider.
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With the proposed increase in support for the Millennium Development Goals, the repayment period could be reduced by about five years, if the facilities were large. The average plants for which Enova support is applied is 3000-4000 kWh produced annually, according to Enova.
The average Norwegian household uses about 20,000 kWh per year.
Millennium Development Goal proposals for solar energy measures:
- Enova support rates doubled from today’s level
- Six times the size of facilities receiving subsidies through Enova, so that more farms and housing associations receive support. (from max. 15 kW to 100 kW)
- Imposing green or blue roofs on new public buildings or rehabilitating public buildings, so that city halls, schools, and other municipal or government buildings can produce solar energy.
- Set a concrete solar power goal for Norway in 2030, which means that Norway will be on par with Denmark and Sweden when it comes to harnessing the potential of solar energy.
– In our alternative budget, a total of NOK 200 million has been allocated to subsidize solar cells – by comparison, NOK 31.7 million was paid out in 2020. We expect there will be increased demand for the subsidy as subsidies increase, says Håkon Lindahl, energy policy advisor at Millennium Development Goals, Nettavisen.
Donate crumbs to solar cells
There is no reason why Norway should be far from Denmark and Sweden. We should put solar cells in place on barn roofs, municipal rooftops, and in housing associations and villas across the country, but then we need the state to come up with subsidy schemes and simplify the rules, Berg says.
The subsidy scheme as now includes exclusively private homeowners, which in practice means you have to live in a detached house or a terraced house to have the rooftop solar cell system. This will change the Millennium Development Goals:
In the past decade, Norway has dumped billions of kroner in subsidies after several controversial wind power projects that are destroying nature, while only crumbs have been earmarked for solar cells on the roofs of people and businesses across the country. Now is the time for a solar revolution in Norway, says Berg.
She wants the subsidy scheme to be extended to also include businesses, kindergartens and farmers. The Millennium Development Goals will create a separate support scheme of NOK 200 million for this purpose for agricultural holdings.
It is a good green policy, which means that people can take action wherever they live and join the green transformation.
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Norway is lagging behind
In addition to the increased subsidy plans, the Millennium Development Goals will make it cheaper to purchase solar panels and solar collectors. You must also pay to sell electricity to the grid, Berg notes, who notes that solar cell development in Norway is limited. While Sweden installed 10,000 PV systems in 2019, Norway installed just under 1,600 systems.
It is embarrassing and stupid that Norway is so laggard on solar energy. Leaving our surfaces unused is simply an energy solution that we must stop using. When Erna now wants to cut backing for Enova’s solar cells, it will put more pressure on building valuable Norwegian nature, rather than using roofs in homes and industrial facilities that are currently ready for use.
Norway lags behind in solar energy due to weak solar energy policy, according to the Millennium Development Goals profile:
– It’s a myth that solar energy has no potential in Norway. For large parts of the year, solar cells can contribute to the production of climate-friendly electricity across the country, claims Lan Marie Berg.
Climate and Environment Minister Svenong Rottivaten had received a proposal from Lan-Marie Berg through his director of communications, but had not responded by Monday evening.
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