Offshore wind - not a good alternative to onshore wind power

Image: The Nature Conservancy's member magazine "Nature and environment 1. 2019" devotes a lot of space to wind power.


We see that many organizations and political parties are now pointing to offshore wind as an alternative to the controversial onshore wind power. It is good that more environmental organizations are becoming aware of the destruction of nature. The Environmental Protection Association has been critical of wind power since 2003. It is still not an easy solution to place this unstable power at sea. There are many factors that speak against this. Offshore wind turbines create, among other things, low-frequency noise that disturbs, among other things whales and other large marine mammals, which can result in both collisions with boats and stranding with subsequent death. Electromagnetic fields from power cables in the offshore wind industry plants destroy the navigation ability of eels, rays, sharks and other marine animals that use electromagnetism to orient themselves. Spawning fish can also be disturbed by the offshore wind turbines that are often planned in central spawning grounds.

Low-frequency noise (0.003-20Hz), outside the audible range, occurs both from land-based and sea-based wind power plants, and will harm people and animals who stay nearby, and who are exposed to the noise for a long time.

We must be aware that it is the same companies that own and manufacture wind turbines for use in the sea, so here the lobbyists are ready to sell plan B; sea breeze. We believe that there are good alternatives for renewable energy which can phase out all wind power in Norway, and which will make it unnecessary to expand wind power. Why start with the most destructive, when we can choose renewable energy that does not harm nature and health?

Better options for renewable energy
The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association believes that upgrading hydropower plants is the best solution for extracting new, stable power potential. Hydropower plants today are on average 50 years old, and an upgrade will be able to take out up to 30% more than today. In total, the potential is 22-30 TWh. The sea has a large heat potential, and with development, heat pumps in the sea will lead to a certain cooling of the sea, and not have a negative effect on the heating. Hospitals, public buildings, schools, industrial buildings can save enormous sums on fjord heat, and the saved electricity can be used to charge electric cars and other things, without having to increase electricity consumption. In addition, there will be better energy preparedness instead of unilaterally relying on electricity.

  • Fjord heat does not lead to destructive interventions in nature, and is not dangerous for animals or people.
  • Geothermal electricity production (ground heat) can be used, if there is political will to invest in this form of energy. Now it is mostly at the trial stage, but badly needs funding for development and commissioning of facilities. The green certificates could rather have been used for this form of energy, instead of destructive wind power.

The old attitude that what we don't want, of poison and unpleasantness, we dump in the sea. This attitude is also present when it comes to moving the wind power industry facilities from land to sea.

It now looks like reason has been blown away by the authorities and local decision-makers. Onshore wind power is completely exhausted, and offshore wind is not on the way in, as long as there are good alternatives.


The Fjord heating plant in Førde
The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) on geothermal energy

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