The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) is outraged by the increasing number of wilderness and untouched areas that are threatened by human disturbance. Wind power is one of the many threats. Wind turbine farms pollute both visually and acoustically and are harmful to biological diversity, especially with regard to birds of prey, to name a few of the harmful effects. The development of wind power goes against the need to stop the loss of endangered animal and plant species.
The sum of all the hearings and concessions we have received recently makes us worried about the cumulative effect of all the projects. Along the entire coast, wind turbine plants are planned from Finnmark in the north to Vest-Agder in the south, surprisingly, it is also planned in Hedmark in the east. National parks, protected areas, tree lines, wild reindeer tribes, cultural monuments, biological diversity and tourism, these should be good enough arguments to be able to stop several projects, but not in Norway. There is no respect anymore, sacrificing Norwegian nature for zero emissions is becoming a dangerous trend for the red/green government.
NMF has worked against land-based wind turbines for a long time, because we believe that Norway has, and should continue to get its main power supply from already developed hydropower. Storting message no. 29 (1998-99) states that by 2010 wind turbines will be built that produce 3 TWh annually, that target has now been reached.
NMF believes that wind power leads to increased electricity prices in Norway, and is bad for society. Wind power potential is often greatest in remote locations with long distances to existing high-voltage grids. In order to realize the wind power potential, the grid must therefore often be reinforced. This is both costly and time-consuming. The investment cost for the wind turbines and the areas they stand on must be covered by increased net rent to consumers. In addition, questions can be asked about the efficiency of the wind turbines. At the maximum consumption of electricity in winter, it is often cold and windless, and the use of wind turbines for power production during this period will be of little use. There is also uncertainty related to the costs of maintenance and operation of the wind turbines - this will probably also cause fluctuations in electricity prices.
Wind turbine parks require a lot of space and are visually disturbing. Intervention-free nature areas in Norway (INON) are already in short supply, and untouched nature can hardly be replaced. It is probably a long time until the next time National Geographic selects Norwegian fjords as the most beautiful destination, now that Western Norway is to be bombarded with wind turbines and power lines. The visual destruction of untouched wilderness threatens Norwegian tourism and is a public embarrassment.
Each individual turbine rises 120 meters above the ground, weighs around 200 tonnes and has a diameter of 40 metres. Research shows that the wind turbines kill eagles, migratory birds and bats (Johnson, GD and MK Perlik, et al., 2004). They make a low-frequency noise and are visually disturbing to name a few of the harmful effects. Most raptors are gliders and depend on the wind, taking longer to maneuver than other birds when faced with sudden opposition.
Birds of prey are therefore generally more vulnerable to wind turbine constructions, this is confirmed by a number of researchers, among others. a. (Hosmer 1994, Barrios 2004). So far, 38 sea eagles have been killed at Smøla wind farm, which NMF believes is serious because birds of prey are vulnerable and red-listed species globally, and Norway has an international responsibility to take care of such species.
The most negative consequences of the wind turbine facilities will primarily be related to habitat degradation and collision risk for nesting and food-seeking birds of prey, as well as visual pollution. A realization of the plans will result in the direct and indirect loss of INON areas.
Another problem with such constructions is noise pollution, which turns out to affect both animals and people (Lee & Griffith 1978). The pollution authorities have set the noise limit at 45 dB. For wind turbines, it is within a radius of approx. 1 km from the source that the noise pollution occurs. This affects homes and holiday homes located within the 1km zone. Both low-frequency and high-frequency sound pollution as well as electromagnetic radiation from wind turbines and power lines can be disruptive, and over time can also cause personal injury. Especially for over-sensitive people, low-frequency sound can be dangerous and disturbing, and cause varying health problems (http://w.bwea.com/ref/faq.html).
Shadows from the turbines can also be very disturbing and often travel further than sound (1 km). It will become more difficult to carry out outdoor activities in the area. Another problem related to outdoor activities inside the wind farm will be safety in cold climates and the danger of ice falling from the leaves in winter (NVE). The roads in the terrain will lead to increased traffic and increased ecological stress, particularly with regard to nesting sites during the nesting period.
The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) believes that instead of razing untouched nature, one should reduce the sale of Norwegian hydropower abroad, make existing hydropower plants more efficient, as well as reduce waste in the pipeline network and implement more ENØK measures.
Johnson, GD, MK Perlik, et al. (2004). "Bat activity, composition, and collision mortality at a large wind plant in Minnesota." Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(4): 1278-1286.
Luke, A. and AW Hosmer (1994). "Bird deaths prompt rethink on wind farming in Spain." Windpower Monthly 10(2): 14-16.
Barrios, L. and A. Rodriguez (2004). "Behavioural and environmental correlates of soaring-bird mortality at on-shore wind turbines." Journal of Applied Ecology 41(1): 72-81. ://000188541900007.
Lee, JM J. and DB Griffith (1978). Transmission line audible noise and wildlife. Effects of noise on wildlife. JL Fletcher and RG Busnell. New York, Academic Press, Inc: 105-168.
Link: NVE Wind power