It would be wrong to claim that Norway gives away precious values and the right to use its own land area when international companies buy power from Norwegian wind farms. The areas will be returned, and Norwegian authorities control the permits.
A wind farm permit is only valid for a period of 25 years. After 12 years of operation, the owner company is obliged to set aside assets for the removal of all turbines and return of the farm to its original landscaping.
For hydro power, we have, as many people know, right of reversion after 60 years. With respect to wind, the permit and rights have to be returned after as little as 25 years, unless governmental licensing authorities (NVE), host municipalities and the Storting desire continued operations.
We need international investors – due to the lack of Norwegian ones
In Norway, where we have the best qualifications in all of Europe to build more renewable capacity, pension funds are not allowed to invest in wind power. Despite several political parties in the Storting, and the Norges Bank (the Norwegian central bank), recommending investments in renewable energy, including wind power, the Government has yet to permit the Government Pension Fund (the Oil fund) to invest in wind. This restriction also applies to several other Norwegian funds.
At the same time there are clear marching orders from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United Nations Environment Programme for the production of significant amounts of renewable energy from wind. The energy use of all sectors has to be decarbonised in order to ensure achievement of the targets of the Paris Agreement of max. 1.5 degrees global warming.
Norwegian wind power needs conscientious investors, Norwegian or foreign. This will also benefit Norway – and not just in its climate accounts.