Havsul 1 will be an environmental disaster for Runde, a migratory bird and our marine ecosystem.
By: Jan-Hugo Holten
Havsul 1 will lie right in the coastline just outside Haramsøy, which is also under enormous pressure for development. The total load for seabirds and several species of migratory birds will be far too high with several wind turbines both on land and for the sea eagle, which is located in a shallow water area in the middle of the coastline. The wind power development on Haramsøya will, to all intents and purposes, be the nearest neighbor to a nature reserve for, precisely, the conservation of seabirds.
When it comes to migratory birds, no one knows the overall consequences for the dozens of wind power plants that are left like pearls on a string in the middle of their migration routes down the entire coastal strip from the north of Norway, via Trøndelag and the entire Westland coast and Agder. Every year they have to pass all of these wind power plants twice a year. In view of the enormous killing figures from the wind power plant on Smøla, it can look really dark for the population development of a number of vulnerable and endangered bird species. One should be aware that the high death tolls in the wind turbines are hardly unique to that facility (500 birds killed at Smøla; 100 white-tailed eagles, 200 black grouse plus a number of other bird species). It is only in the facility at Smøla that systematic counts and mapping of turbine-killed birds have been carried out. At other facilities, what is discovered and recorded is only random. There is therefore every reason to believe that systematic registrations at other wind power plants will also show similar kill figures for birds.
Serious strain on the bird mountain Runde
For bird mountain Runde and the coastal areas along the Møre coast is it a serious sign that almost all species of seabirds have declined significantly in the years before the wind power developments. Several of the already vulnerable stocks are unlikely to withstand a further strain that the extensive wind power developments in the area will entail. Norway thus breaks the obligations in most international conventions and treaties that Norway has ratified and is a party to, including several important obligations in relation to the UN's Sustainability Goals. To top it all off, it is actually Norway, with Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who holds the chairmanship of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in the world. With such poor and directly negative environmental policy at home, the government should not have fronted any environmental policy towards other countries. Especially not when we have such big challenges internationally with the loss of rainforest, species diversity and important habitats. What we do ourselves sends a particularly bad signal to other countries.
The demonstration outside NVE
Today's demonstration was to highlight how wrong the previous license and development plans for Havsul 1 together with the great pressure on migratory birds and seabirds are. The Environmental Protection Association (NMF) therefore participated in a joint demonstration together with visitors from Runde, NOF, Motvind, La Naturen Leve and others outside NVE, where the Director of the licensing department, Rune Flatby, came out and accepted a protest from the representatives from Runde. He informed those present about further proceedings for Havsul 1.
The demonstration outside the Storting
Later the demonstration moved down to the Storting. Lars Haltbrekken and Arne Nævra from SV came out and met the demonstrators, and I got to speak to Nævra who sits on the Transport and Communications Committee and asked if there was internal strife in SV on wind. He called for the alternatives to wind while oil and gas were to be phased out. Arne Nævra, together with all his colleagues at the parliament, has received NMF's magazine on wind power, where we just point out the alternatives (he actually received Miljømagasinet 1-2019 wind power already during Arendalsuka 2019 in August). In addition to the usual ones that everyone has learned by now, i.e. upgrading hydropower, energy, we point to fjord heat, geothermal...among other things. We point out in particular that Equinor is already heavily involved in geothermal energy production and is drilling for heat both in Malaysia and in Iceland.
STOP THE “CLIMATE PROPAGANDA”…
For those who wonder why we use words like "climate propaganda" and NVE on our banner, it is NOT because we deny the climate challenges, but because NVE "greenwashes" wind power and denies the actual climate burdens it entails. We are using this banner to encourage debate about this and to put the spotlight on NVE's blind approval of the wind power industry's false propaganda. We also do it to make it visible that we no longer have any neutral administration when both NVE and organizations such as ZERO act in practice as pure lobby organizations for the wind power industry...