At a time when the population is subject to large and comprehensive restrictions due to the fear of corona infection, and where the Minister of Oil and Energy apparently recently used the corona situation to approve two highly conflicted and controversial wind power cases, then the government throws further fuel on the fire by exempting foreign wind power workers from the corona restrictions.
Defining wind power development as a socially critical activity and thus giving them exemptions from the provisions that a number of other businesses provoke. Not least because wind power belongs to an industry that doesn't exactly seem to care much about either laws or regulations. At the same time, wind power developments are in no way critical to the energy supply. Norway is an average net exporter of power every year. We are thus well supplied with power ourselves, so this is no argument for exempting wind power developments from the crisis laws.
This also greatly contributes to undermining the purpose of this effort by the population to stop the corona infection.
At the same time, it also weakens the crown argument of wind power supporters that wind power creates so many local jobs. If this were really the case, wouldn't such an exception be necessary?
When it comes to the wind power industry's own relationship to law and justice in relation to foreign workers, it may be useful to look back a little...
- Norwegian truck owners: - Illegal driving of wind turbines (Risavika-Egersund, Rogaland)
- Norwegian Truck Owners' Association: - Illegal wind turbine transport stopped following tip from NLF (Hennøy wind park, Bremanger municipality, Vestland)
- SVELGEN/BREMANGER (NRK): The company that transports wind turbines to the Hennøy wind park in Bremanger was banned from driving on the site. (Westland)
- Transported windmill - was banned from driving by the Norwegian Road Administration - Driver taken into custody at Fosen (Trøndelag)
- Wind power workers claim they don't get paid when they get sick or when it's too windy. (Agder)
- Wind power workers earn less than NOK 100 an hour. Workers who build wind power plants for the Stavanger company Norwegian Wind in Bjerkreim, have employment contracts where they earn less than NOK 100 an hour. - This is completely on the face of it, says Roger Myklebust in Fellesforbundet. (13.12.2019 Rogaland)
- Wind power workers are waiting for millions in back pay Norwegian Wind promised to clear up poor pay conditions for fitters for wind power plants in Bjerkreim, but workers are still waiting for several million in total back pay. - Breach of our agreement, says Fellesforbundet. (05.03.2020 Norsk Vind – Rogaland)
And finally; an ongoing case in Florø (Bergens Tidende)...
- Lorry owners to action against wind turbine transport -Norsk Lastebileier-Forbund had the transport of wind turbines stopped by foreign-registered vehicles at Fjord Base in Florø. The turbine components will later be driven on for assembly at the Guleslettene wind power plant in the municipalities of Kinn and Bremanger. - We contacted the wind power company Zephyr and the supplier Vestas and made them aware of the business. If they hadn't given a stop order, we would have gone to the police, says Jan Ove Halsøy, regional manager of the Truck Owners Association to BT. The association justifies the action with what they believe is illegal transport with foreign-registered vehicles in a closed area. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has previously intervened against the transport of wind turbines, such as during this action at Hennøy in Bremanger last year. (Guleslettene wind power plant, Kinn and Bremanger municipalities - Vestland)
So, yes...wind power is socially critical in the true sense of the word in the sense that it is critical for any society that is based on laws and regulations, democracy, local workplaces and the willingness to accept the demands and orders that come from the authorities in such a demanding situation that we are experiencing now. The behavior of the wind power industry and the authorities' unconditional support for this business is a serious weakening of the trust we should be able to have in our governing authorities. Unfortunately, the government chooses time and time again to weaken this trust with its controversial elections.
Read the case on NRK.no:
OED and NVE are not denying themselves now, in the middle of the worst corona time...
The OED used the corona situation to approve two highly conflicted and controversial wind power cases, Okla on Stadlandet and Haramsøy outside Ålesund and just north of the bird island Runde. At the same time, NVE used the same situation to adopt an extended deadline and concession period for Havsul I, which will lie directly in the moors just north of Haramsøy. All these decisions thus come while all the media are completely carpeted with news about the corona situation. Does anyone really believe that this is a coincidence…?
Read more about this case in the following article: -Andmyran, the decision in the OED is a great victory, but with a bitter aftertaste...
In a time where we obviously need calm and unity around a very serious situation for the population and at the same time acceptance and trust in the decisions that come from the authorities, it definitely does not serve the situation that the government not only uses the situation to push through controversial decisions, but that they attpåtil also uses its recently extended powers to throw fuel on the fire with such unnecessary exception rules.
We should certainly have been apart of this...