Oslo, April 13, 2016: Norway’s Climate and Environment Ministry has signed an agreement to buy UN-certified carbon credits from three of Scatec Solar’s power plants in West Africa. About 330,000 tons of CO2 emissions will be avoided from these solar plants during a three-year period ending 2020. The Purchase Agreement for the Certified Emission Reduction (CER) includes an option to extend the contract thereafter.
“Carbon offsets ensures that sustainable projects are implemented with the lowest possible risk. This contributes to the growth of solar energy in developing countries, which in turn allows for better and more stable energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” says Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen.
The Agreement marks a major milestone in the implementation of Scatec Solar’s global carbon strategy that aims to stimulate carbon and climate finance to accelerate deployment of solar power in the countries most in need of it.
Scatec Solar develops, builds, owns and operates solar PV plants in emerging markets, focusing on projects that meet the high sustainability criteria set by the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). “As a partner for climate action, Scatec Solar attaches great importance to this because we believe the United Nations mechanisms provide the highest level of environmental integrity available in the marketplace,” says Terje Osmundsen, Scatec Solar’s Vice President for Business Development.
The first three West African projects to be included in the agreement are being developed by Scatec Solar in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana, says Minister Helgesen. “This region is struggling with major energy shortage, large populations without access to electricity, dependence on fossil fuels and high energy costs.” The carbon credit agreement will lower the capital cost risks for clean and sustainable projects. This in turn will contribute to the growth of solar plants in these sun-rich countries, enable local utilities to improve grid networks and generate more solar electricity to fuel development and improve people’s lives.
Carbon credits are valid for Scatec Solar’s UN-compliant projects in other developing countries as well. “Over half of all developing countries stated that they wish to continue using the CDM to help deliver national climate change plans submitted for the Paris talks last year” says Daniel Rossetto, Managing Director of Climate Mundial, Scatec Solar’s carbon & climate finance advisor. “Scatec Solar’s carbon program therefore positions it to make a very important contribution to countries’ climate ambitions both before and beyond 2020”.
About 600,000 tons of carbon emissions will be avoided in 2016 from Scatec Solar’s power plants operating in South Africa, Rwanda, Czech Republic, the United States and Honduras. This is set to increase to 2 million tons by the end of 2018 with the commissioning of several more solar plants.
Link to press release by the Climate and Environment Ministry (in Norwegian)
Link to interview with Terje Osmundsen (Scatec Solar) by Sysla: “Norsk kvotekjøp i Afrika har stor symbolverdi» (in Norwegian)