The European Commission’s latest proposal for sustainable investment guidelines includes welcome changes for Norwegian hydropower plants compared to earlier versions, the government and a key industry group told Reuters.
The European Commission on Wednesday published its long-awaited system to classify “green” investments in sectors from industry to transport, which it hope will make them more visible to investors.
Although Norway is not a member of the European Union, the bloc’s regulations strongly impact its economy.
A November draft raised concern in hydropower-dependent Norway that screening criteria could rob the industry of its green status and hamper investment.
“We are pleased that the Commission has clarified and improved the criteria for hydropower that are important to Norwegian producers and to the benefit of all,” State Secretary Tony C. Tiller of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said in an emailed statement.
Norway also welcomed the inclusion of ship transport of CO2 in the rules, which was key to the country’s ambitious plans for its Longship carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, he added.
Under the revised Commission rules hydropower plants must comply with technical criteria on either power density or life-cycle emissions, which most Norwegian plants would be able to do, energy lobby group Energi Norge said.
The group also welcomed changes that link the so-called taxonomy more clearly to existing legislation under the EU’s Water Framework Directive, although some ambiguity remained, it added.
Photo: EC – Audiovisual Service