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Norway unlikely to leave GOs market soon – consultancy

(Montel) Higher revenues from guarantees of origin (GOs) for power producers have lowered the chances of Norway following through with its planned exit from the scheme in the short term, Hans Petter Kildal, CEO of Norwegian GOs consultancy Becour, told Montel.

“The government said it wanted to leave the scheme [when entering office in 2021]. Since then, we have not really heard anything. We have also got confirmations from bureaucrats and politicians that this is not a prioritised issue,” Kildal said in an interview on Monday.

However, the government still planned to remove Norway from the GOs market, energy minister Terje Aasland told Montel recently.

This was because the required documentation imposed an unnecessary cost on power-intensive industries that received electricity from domestic hydropower and wind farms, he added.

He did not provide information on a timeline but last October he said the country had no imminent plans to leave the GO market amid the energy crisis.

A Norwegian exit would have a huge market impact since it is the single biggest seller of GOs thanks to Norway’s large hydropower output.

GOs’ position in the market had strengthened, said Kildal, referring to a recent power purchase agreement (PPA) for 6.6 TWh between Norwegian power producer Statkraft and aluminium producer Norsk Hydro as an example.

The 15-year deal included GOs, Hydro said after it was announced, despite the fact that historically it had refused to buy them as it disagreed with the market.

It would become more difficult for Norwegian companies to comply with international reporting standards for green energy use if they did not use the GO system, said Kildal.

Prices to stabilise

The rise in GO prices also increased the importance of the system for the largely publicly owned power sector, with prices for certificates from Nordic hydropower rising from EUR 1.70/MWh at the start of 2022 to a record of EUR 10/MWh by last November. The price is currently just below EUR 7/MWh.

Despite higher interest in GOs than previously, said Kildal, his consultancy expected prices to stabilise around EUR 4-4.50/MWh.

Becour saw a trebling of revenues to NOK 159m (EUR 13.7m) last year and also made a net profit for the first time since its launch in 2018.

(EUR 1 = NOK 11.62)