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Norway Illegal Wind Parks Crisis Forces Energy Minister to Scrap UK Trip – Bloomberg

  • Supreme court ruled in 2021 that two wind parks are illegal
  • Case may also impact Equinor’s plan to electrify LNG plant
Police officers remove Greta Thunberg from a campaign outside the Ministry of Finance in Oslo, on March 1.
Police officers remove Greta Thunberg from a campaign outside the Ministry of Finance in Oslo, on March 1. (Javad Parsa/NTB)

Kari Lundgren, Bloomberg News

Energiesnet.com 03 01 2023

Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Aasland canceled a visit to the UK on Wednesday to focus on the rising fury over two massive wind parks built on indigenous land. 

Protesters including Greta Thunberg blocked entrances to government buildings in Oslo this week, including the energy, finance and climate departments. They are highlighting that more than 500 days have past since the nation’s supreme court ruled that the Fosen wind parks violate the human rights of Samis under International law. 

The government is yet to take a decision on what will happen to the turbines. The dispute is a bellwether for renewable generation in the oil-rich nation, which needs to install more wind turbines as the economy gets increasingly electrified and the urgency of reducing emissions grows. 

“Due to the ongoing work related to the Fosen situation, the oil and energy minister chose to prioritize his calendar and will therefore not travel as planned to England,” a ministry spokesperson said by email. 

The case also has potential implications for energy company Equinor ASA, which is planning to electrify its liquefied natural gas terminal on Melkoya in the north. The project involves new cables across land used by Sami herders.

Reindeer Herders Push to Reclaim Land From Norway Wind Farms

Less than five years old, the wind parks house more than 150 turbines, making them one of Europe’s biggest on land. The area has sustained the indigenous people and their reindeers for centuries. 

“The power plant makes reindeer husbandry impossible for the Samis in the district” as reindeers avoid the area, the Norwegian Sami Association said last week. “Therefore, Sami culture is denied.” 

The government of Jonas Gahr Store has sought to come up with a compromise that would allow the turbines to remain in place, while also satisfying Sami concerns. Aasland attempted to speak to protesters yesterday and will meet the president of the Sami Parliament, Silje Karine Muotka, on Thursday.

“Solving the climate crisis must include that we listen to indigenous people, that we include their perspective,” Thunberg told NRK TV on Monday. 

bloomberg.com 03 01 2023

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