Norway Taxes and incentives for renewable energy - KPMG Global Energy & Natural Resources.
The state-owned corporation Enova is the driving force for an environmentally friendly energy conversion by private and public enterprises. Enova is funded through the Energy Fund that supports environmental change in the use and production of energy. The management of the Energy Fund is governed by an agreement between the Norwegian Ministry of Oil and Energy and Enova.
Enova offers financial support based on defined programs for various renewable energy and environmentally friendly projects based on an application principle. In 2014, the Energy Fund supported 1400 new projects inthe private and public sectors, and supported 4500 new energy measures in residential buildings.
The Norwegian General Tax Act includes regulations regarding tax allowances known as SkatteFUNN to supportR&D projects. The SkatteFUNN R&D tax incentive scheme is a government program designed to stimulate R&D inNorwegian trade and industry. Under the SkatteFUNN scheme, any type of business enterprise engaged in R&D activities may apply to the Research Council for support for their projects.R&D projects under the SkatteFUNN scheme are aimed at obtaining new knowledge or technical skills that can benefit the company in connection with the development of new or improved goods, services or means of production.
Support for R&D projects is granted in the form of a tax deduction. When determining the tax deduction under the SkatteFUNN scheme, a distinction is made between SMEs and large enterprises. SMEs may be granteda tax deduction of 20 percent of theR&D costs associated with a given R&D project. Large enterprises may be granted a deduction of 18 percent of such project costs. From the income year 2015, the maximum funding forR&D projects using in-house R&D resources is Norwegian krone (NOK)15 million per year. The SkatteFUNN R&D cost ceiling for R&D projects also using external pre-approved R&D resources isNOK 33 million per year. Total costs for in-house and external resources must not exceed NOK 33 million.
There are no national-based feed-in tariffs in Norway. However, there is a green certificate scheme.
The issuance of electricity certificates is an economic subsidy scheme that will make it more remunerative to invest in power production based on renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, solar and bio energy. The scheme is regulated by the Green Certificates Act.
The Norwegian government has entered into an agreement with the Swedish government establishing a common electricity certificate market for electricity that will contribute to increased production of renewable energy. Moving toward 2020, Sweden and Norway will increase their power production from renewable energy sources to 26.4 TWh. Power plants that are included in the scheme receive electricity certificates that can be sold in the Norwegian-Swedish electricity certificates market. Power suppliers and certain power users are required to purchase electricity certificates for a share of the electricity they sell or use.
The following power producers may apply, subject to certain requirements, for electricity certificate approval for whole or parts of its production based on its total production:
Any entity that delivers power to end consumers is obliged to purchase electricity certificates, and it is the end consumer who finances the scheme through increased costs when invoiced for usage. The electricity certificate scheme is managed by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate.
Starting in 2008, the Norwegian emissions trading system for greenhouse gas emissions expanded to include nearly 40 percent of the emissions related to Norway. It is also affiliated with the European system for quotas. The Norwegian system for quota obligation applies to greenhouse gas emissions in Norwayand to emissions from activities on the Norwegian part of the continental shelf.
The quota system applies to emissions in connection with:
Indirect taxes: Indirect taxes are used as a policy instrument to reduce the consumption of products that are detrimental to the environment.
CO2 tax: Gasoline, mineral oil, gas for inland usage and petroleum activities are subject to a CO2 tax. A CO2 tax related to petroleum activities shall be paid per liter of oil and natural gasliquids and per standard cubic meter of gas burnt off or emitted directly to air on platforms, installations or facilitiesused in connection with the extraction or transportation of petroleum on the Norwegian continental shelf. The tax is classified as a deductible operating cost associated with petroleum activities, which contributes to reducing the ordinary tax and special tax actually paid by the oil companies.
The CO2 tax was reduced according to the estimated emissions trading price when the Norwegian emissions trading system was introduced.
Nitrous Oxide (NOx) tax: The NOx tax is calculated per kg for NOx emissions generated during the production of energy from the following energy sources:
Enterprises that join the Environmental Agreement on NOx are entitled to a tax exemption from the date when they joined. From the same date,the enterprise will have a payment obligation vis-à-vis the business sector’sNOx Fund. According to the Participant Agreement, affiliated enterprises will develop a measure plan identifying possible NOx reducing measures within 2 years after affiliation.
The purpose of the plan is to identify profitable measures the enterprise can implement on its own accord, and to identify cost-effective NOx reducing measures whose implementation are dependent on support from the NOx Fund. As of 23 May 2014, a total of 787 enterprises, ships and rigs had joined the Environmental Agreement on NOx 2011–2017. The Norwegian government wishes to begin negotiations regarding continuation of the Environmental Agreement on NOx after 2017. Thisis stated in the government’s new maritime strategy.