From the top of the 106-meter-high tower at the full Yara fertilizer plant at Herøya in Porsgrunn, Skjalg Aasland can see Siljan, Vestfold and Skagerrak, where plans for solar and wind farms are located.
He is the Head of Development and Construction Management for the Herøya Industrial Estate and has views of one of the largest industrial parks in Norway.
But he is desperately looking for more modernity. 30 companies are lining up to prove themselves here, and then huge amounts of energy are needed.
For us, access to more energy is very important. We have a lot of plans and we want to know that we can have a new source of energy.
Now he can see solutions on the horizon.
Off the coast of Færder municipality, Norwegian Sea Wind wants to set up a wind farm. And if he looks inward, there may also be wind turbines in Siljan municipality.
– I’m very happy to hear about Siljan’s plans. We need more energy production, and the fact that this is happening locally is a very good thing. In addition, we need to develop the network of lines.
Aasland fears that activity in the industry and the rest of the business world may decline if more renewable energy is not developed.
Cooking on social media
In Opdalen in Siljan, a wind and solar power plant has been proposed.
Residents fear the encroachment of nature and boil over in social media.
Many fear that the windmills will detract from one of Siljan’s most used recreational areas.
“For people to want to demolish the area forever is a hair-raising thing”write one on the Facebook page “You know you’re from Celjan When”.
Christian Brathen thinks the plans are ill-considered.
– A referendum had to be taken first, and then they could instead assess whether we went to settle this project.
He thinks many with him think driving is excessive.
– They don’t listen to people.
You can see the wind farm
Siljan Mayor, Kjell Sølverød (SP), points toward Mount Hovde from the farm where he lives.
– There we will see the constellations of a windmill. And behind him we will see two more fans. The minimum distance for the sound is 900m, so it’s close to here.
The next town hall meeting in Siljan will decide whether there will be a majority to sort out the consequences of a solar and wind farm (hybrid park) on the mountain in Obdellen.
– Here there could be 14 windmills and a large number of solar panels within an area that makes up three percent of the area in Siljan municipality, says Sølverød.
important to the industry
The mayor believes the project is important for the region and for industry in Greenland, which needs more electricity.
But an extra NOK 20 million in municipal coffers each year also means something to the municipality’s economy.
Sølverød is positive about the consequences assessment. But I’m not sure if the townspeople want it.
– I’m not sure about that at all. I think more people are participating now than before, with our electricity prices going up. But there are of course many nuances when it comes to wind turbines.
Kjell Sølverød points out that the government is very much in favor, and that the framework conditions for municipalities willing to participate in this are much better than they were just five years ago.
Doubt in one’s ranks
Siljan is located a stone’s throw from the birthplace of Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland. In the fall, the minister proposed to Norway’s municipality and called for investment in wind energy.
But in Siljan, Aasland faces suspicion from his own ranks.
Dag-Goran Mirvang is the leader of the Labor Party group in the Municipal Council. He believes that the issue is fraught with conflict and says it is important that the citizens of Siljan know what will happen.
– When the matter was presented to the presidency, no one from Siljan residents knew him.
He acknowledges that the industry in Greenland needs a lot of strength to implement the green transformation. But he will prioritize the development of the network of lines in order to transfer the energy to where it will be used.
Wind energy is one of the most conflict-ridden things, hence we politicians must be confident in the decisions we make. So it’s important to have an open process, so people don’t feel cheated afterwards.
It is a matter of massive encroachment on nature in an area of six square kilometres, Myrvang says.
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