Norway: A Small Solar Market with a Slow-Growing Subsidy Scheme

 solar water heaters” The website is just one interesting starting point for Norwegians who like to inform themselves about renewable energy and its benefits.

Norway has committed itself to a 30% reduction in its carbon emissions by 2020 and to carbon neutrality by 2050. So far, solar thermal has not played a big role in Norway’s climate protection scenarios. According to the international report Solar Heat Worldwide 2007, the annual market size in 2007 amounted to only 1,000 m2.

The first sign of change appeared in August 2008, when state-owned enterprise Enova SF implemented the first subsidy scheme for residential solar water heaters called “Grant Scheme for Alternative Heating and Electricity”. It grants a 20 % subsidy on the entire systems costs (including installation) up to a maximum of Norwegian Krone (NOK) 10,000 (EUR 1,245 EUR). The programme is part of the activities of the Norwegian Energy Fund, which was established in 2006 and has a total budget of NOK 5 billion (app. EUR 650 million). The funding is paid for by a levy on electricity distribution tariffs and by handing out ordinary grants via the national budget. The respective installations all require installers to have a certification in that area. You will find more information about the scheme in our database of incentive programmes.

The number of applications for solar water heaters in the context of the Grant Scheme for Alternative Heating and Electricity showed only a slow improvement. 7 applications had been registered after an entire year. Now, the number has increased to 29 applications in almost two years.

Subsidies for heat pumps and pellet boilers and stoves, which are also supported by the Grand Scheme, are much more in demand. According to Enova, “water-based heat pumps and pellet boilers have been supported since the beginning of their programme in 2006”. The installation support for heat pumps and pellet boilers is limited to NOK 10,000, too.

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This Text was written in cooperation with communication specialist and book author Hanna Schober based in South Africa.


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