– Totally unnecessary – E24

– Totally unnecessary – E24

The initial rejection of wind energy development makes the process difficult for developers. They think it is strange that municipalities and local communities do not want discussion and facts before making a decision.


Last winter, the municipal council in Vaga unanimously voted against wind energy development.

The decision has been discussed by, among others General Director.

Farid Renewable Energy Company. Olsen Renewables was working on a wind energy project in the municipality, one of four or five wind energy projects the company has worked on in Norway in the past 12 months.

But since the decision was made, the company hasn't done anything else with the project, says business developer Gut Tjensvall in Freed. Olsen Renewable Energy to E24.

Read on E24+

These municipalities have said no to wind energy

A large number of municipalities have said no in principle to wind energy development.

See the full overview here.

Tjensvoll Fred says. Olsen Renewables creates an open process for its projects, although in many cases this has generated resistance early on and halted development. Tjensvall calls what happens a “short circuit of the process.”

– It would be wrong when that is done, he says.

– There is no need for an initial decision against the idea stage already, as the municipality in any case has four opportunities to use its veto power later in the process. Principled Decisions – What are the principled decisions we have against in society? he asks rhetorically.

However, the Vaga municipality's decision does not put an end to the company's plans to develop more wind energy in Norway.

– We continue elsewhere. We have visited nearly 70 municipalities in the last two years, with the aim of establishing a dialogue on solar and wind opportunities and working broadly and systematically with many opportunities.

The municipality gained more power

Last year, the rules for wind energy development were changed, so that it was up to municipalities to regulate wind energy zones according to the Planning and Building Code. to You can apply for a building permit.

The changes mean municipalities can say no multiple times during the investigation and even granting process.

Tjensvall points out that municipalities have the right to make decisions that they believe are consistent with local interests and values.

– Of course it can involve principled decisions, but it deprives local communities and society in general of obtaining information about available opportunities.

Tjensvoll believes the industry has a job to do to improve the perception that developing wind power and other renewable energy sources requires significant interventions into nature.

The destruction of nature became a theme when Vågå voted in favor of its resolution against building wind and solar power plants in the mountains in the municipality, according to GD.

– How big is the price of the green transition in “Accounting for Nature”? To meet climate goals by 2050, we need 60 terawatt-hours of new energy, he says.

– If you solve this problem with land-based wind and solar, you need a project area equivalent to about 70 percent of the area all municipalities have allocated for new recreational facilities, or in other words: two percent of the area is used for forests in Norway.

Relatively speaking, the natural interference is not very large, says Tjensvoll.

– indicates that we are in the middle of a major energy transition.

Gott Tjensvall

Business developer in Farid. Olsen Renewable Energy

-Only a small percentage of the area will be affected, for example, a gravel road and staging area, and project areas can be largely reversed. On the other hand, if you build residential land or a highway, it becomes more permanent.

Tjensvoll says wind energy can contribute to much of what municipalities need:

– They need more activity and more income. We all need to replace fossil energy. For the Norway region, this is the right target. When you say no to wind energy, I mean you are saying yes to exposing your industry to more competition, higher electricity costs and centralization. When a municipality says no to solar and wind, it is also indirectly saying yes to something else.

-We think it's completely unnecessary

Eivind Fjellestad, communications manager at wind energy company Zephyr, says the company has received in-principle decisions against wind energy in three municipalities where it has projects under development: in Ivje and Hoorn, Indre Ostfold and Sondreland.

– In addition, we read in Avisa Hadeland that the Frp in the municipality of Gran is an interrogation where the purpose is to make a decision in principle there as well, says Fjellstad.

The decision there could affect the Land-Hadeland-Toten wind farm plans for the Zephyr project, which are due to be built in the municipalities of Søndre Land, Gran and Vestre Toten.

Fjellstad says that projects in municipalities that have decided in principle against wind energy are “not completely dead,” but Zephyr believes it is necessary to come up with new arguments if they are to be started again.

– We believe that the current municipal council has spoken, he says.

– In Evje, Hornnes and Indre Østfold, there are decisions that go back a little bit in time, so we haven't done anything there for a while, but maybe there are projects that we can look at again in time.

Fjellestad clearly thinks the decisions are problematic in principle:

“We basically think it's completely unnecessary,” he says.

– Development processes are long and follow the planning and building law. The developer is pushing for an investigation. When this is done, and all the facts are on the table, we want to have a broad discussion, Fjellstad says.

Read on E24+

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Decisions in principle are believed to make processes undemocratic.

– In Norway, we want to make decisions based on the best available facts. It's a bit difficult when you say no in principle to wind energy before an investigation has produced the facts.

-We respect politicians in the municipalities we work with, but it is difficult to understand why someone would say no to fact-finding. Municipalities can say no at any point in the process. Both hands on the wheel, Fjellestad continues.

He hopes and believes that more municipalities will also say yes in the future.

– Wind turbines produce nice local impacts, but the most important reason we are expanding is to accelerate the green transition. The whole world faces the same challenge. Having a Norwegian municipality say yes contributes a lot.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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