Fears that a storm around wind turbines could halt the whole process

Fears that a storm around wind turbines could halt the whole process

STORHEIA / ÅFJORD (Aftenposten): It’s blowing briskly around a wind turbine in Fosen. The wind energy manager fears he will have to shut down operations if there is no progress in the conflict.

Tom Christian Larsen at Fosen Vind thinks there may be other solutions than demolishing the wind turbines.

In Oslo, Greta Thunberg is carried away from the government quarter. In Storheia on Fosen it is so windy that hard hats fly off your head. 80 wind turbines produce electricity for the whole machine.

A herd of about 50 reindeer tends to stay in the area around the wind power station. In recent days, they haven’t seen anything from the animals. Today you hardly see huge wind turbines.

Fosen Vind director Tom Kristian Larsen says Herd in the Fog makes it worth asking questions about whether it is possible to manage reindeer herding and wind energy production in this area — at the same time.

fixed fronts

Reindeer owners think that is not possible. And almost here are the fronts.

505 days after the Supreme Court ruled that two of Fosen’s wind turbines were an affront to human dignity and an infringement of a supreme right to cultural practice — namely reindeer herding — there is still a long way from an answer as to how to solve the problem.

The Department of Petroleum and Energy says they must acquire new knowledge in order to make a new and valid licensing decision that can stand.

  • They must find out what kind of adaptations are required so that the negative consequences of reindeer husbandry are within the limits permitted by law. This must be investigated. Many consultative meetings have been held.
  • But the protocols of these are not signed. Reindeer owners believe that there is no proper counseling, that one has the necessary knowledge. They believe that IOE should bring new proposals for solutions to the table.
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Larsen thinks the measures in Oslo may speed up the process.

What do you gain from the quick fix? The operation is going in full force, generating a lot of income?

– The process is underway, and we feel we can allow it to continue as long as there is a real and credible process going on so that we can quickly wrap up the case. Larsen says this cannot go on indefinitely.

– So are you afraid that you will have to stop operations if there is no progress?

– If the process stops completely, and does not progress at all, then this is a problem for us too. Larsen says this cannot go on indefinitely.

He stresses that he believes a real process is under way. He does not want to say anything about how long he thinks they can let the process continue without new clarifications.

From the Storheia Control Center, Tom Kristian Larsen can see how much electricity is being produced at any given time. Here, eight people mostly work every day to keep the factory running.

The herd of about 50 animals belongs to reindeer owner Lev Arne Gama in Sør-Fosen sitje. They were originally placed in the area to investigate how wind force affects reindeer.

But these investigations have now stopped. Larsen believes more modern knowledge is needed about how wind energy affects reindeer husbandry.

– When you see that there is a herd walking in this area, which seems to be in control, what would it look like if the herd was larger? Asked.

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Larsen also believes that several other measures could be considered to improve reindeer husbandry conditions:

  • Can the current winter grazing areas be expanded so that larger areas are protected from future encroachments?
  • Can something be done about the numbers of predators in the area? About 70 percent of the calves in the area are now taken by predators such as eagles, wolverines and lynxes.
  • Can other traffic be restricted in reindeer herding areas?
  • Does it help not to plow the roads in the plant in winter so that there are no plow edges?

He says he thinks it’s strange that reindeer owners don’t want to contribute to getting this knowledge on the table.

Reindeer owners think the matter has been over-investigated. They pointed out that the Supreme Court also confirmed that the case was well documented.

They’ve been fighting all along, and now they’ve proven themselves right. Do you understand their unwillingness to compromise?

– I have great understanding and sympathy for that and the frustration that ensues from. But then it has to be seen in light of the reindeer husbandry they actually do, says Larsen.

He points out that there is a lot at stake in the case. Wind turbines cost six billion to build. And they produce a lot of renewable electricity.

– Do you think that their right is less strong because the value of reindeer herding is less than 6 billion?

– No, not at all.

Reindeer owner Lev Arne Gama knows that the wind power company is keen to show off his small herd that grazes in the area. But this does not prove that it is possible to operate reindeer herding in a wind energy region.

It is true that a small group of reindeer roam the area around Storheia, says reindeer owner Lev Arne Gama. But they mostly stay away from the wind power plant.

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Large parts of the herd should avoid the area.

When snow conditions are bad, there is little pasture available. When there is a lot of snow, they have to climb on the hills at the top as the weather and wind sweep the snow away. But he says there are turbines.

He says that few calves survive and grow after the advent of wind turbines.

– Production simply fell, he says. He finds it hard to see solutions other than wind turbines being demolished.

She was called the “Queen of Wind Power.”

In Åfjord, Vibekky Stern had her hands full after the proceedings exploded. Her first meeting after becoming mayor 15 years ago was about wind power. Since then, it has been on the agenda every week. As the mayor of Norway’s largest wind energy municipality, she has been called the “Queen of Wind Energy”. But she has no power over this matter.

Mayor Vibeke Stern said he was absolutely brutal about the recent days of attention surrounding wind power development in the municipality. – I’m not the one having a hard time here. But I wouldn’t have thought 15 years ago that we’d end up in this situation, she says.

I participated in Dagsnytt 18. På God Morgen Norge. The phone rings constantly. But there is little it can do. The municipality decided to allocate land for wind energy development in 2009. Since then, the matter has been with the state and the developer.

– As a municipality and myself personally, this is happening over our heads. We are not required to contribute at all. We just have to deal with what comes next. Is he a coward? she asks.

She also hopes for a middle ground that can secure both reindeer husbandry and the wind power industry. The latter gives the municipality about 30 million annual property tax income. and 40-60 positions. He created more life. Provision of a new fiber network and berth. During the construction, there was a pure Klondike atmosphere in the village.

– I think I speak for Åfjorden when I say we would have liked to be able to have reindeer herding here and run their business along with the wind turbines. Then I must be very naive, you say.

Do you want to better understand Fosen’s case? This is how turbines affect reindeer husbandry:

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