BlackRock has invested five billion in wind turbines in Norway. Now they fear losing half if the government introduces their planned ground rent tax on wind power. The majority in Storting are in favour of taxation, but the objections have been so strong that Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland has postponed the decision until the autumn.
On Thursday, Fornybar Norge held a conference at Lysebu near Holmenkollen, where BlackRock’s representative in Norway, Fredrik Norell, warned against ground rent tax on wind power.
It is not particularly sexy with a return of six to seven percent, but you can measure risk and return. We invest when there is predictability and a good framework and can sell power to industry on long contracts. When the rules of the game are changed along the way, it has a great effect. I would like to invest more in Norway. but what should I say to my customers, who are largely pension and insurance funds, that I have invested five billion kroner and have lost half?
Dagens Næringsliv can tell you that there has been a run on the ministry to avoid ground rent tax. 70 percent of wind power in Norway is owned by foreigners. Aasland wants to change that. The question is whether ground rent tax will increase the appetite for investment.
What the business world is reacting to is that the government changes the rules with retroactive effect. It destroys trust. But it’s not the first time it’s happened.
Aasland also said that he hopes that development on land may become possible again, after Erna Solberg introduced a moratorium:
Where there are good conditions and local acceptance, said Aasland.