On the same day that Oil and Energy Minister Kjell-Børge Freiberg is replaced, NVE approves a whole two MTA plans with requested changes and expropriation permits.
Why two approvals on the same day? And on top of it all also coinciding with the ministerial change. This smells suspiciously like a political signal from NVE. Coinciding with the appointment of Sylvi Listhaug as the new oil and energy minister, NVE is showing muscle. Here, the decisions are clearly to be pushed through, in the middle of the Christmas preparations. What is NVE doing?
Both the Øyfjellet wind power plant and the Tysvær wind power plant are highly controversial cases with major consequences.
None of the complaints received or their content has been taken into account. This is serious. We have an administration that is based on old studies and a deficient knowledge base, while at the same time they put all their energy into rejecting all new knowledge. This is particularly clear in NVE's justification i the section on infrasound. Here they say the following:
Infrasound is defined as sound that occurs at frequencies that are lower than what human hearing can normally perceive, for example at lower than 20 Hz (Hertz), due to the noticeably lower sensitivity of the human ear to perceive such sounds. For the sound to be perceptible to the human ear within this frequency range, it must have a very high volume. When such sounds can be perceived by humans, they can generally cause considerable discomfort.
Here, NVE assumes that the infrasound, which has lower frequencies than the human ear can perceive, must be audible in order for it to cause discomfort. This is a clear logical flaw.
According to NVE, the inaudible low-frequency noise must be audible to cause discomfort...(!?)
Furthermore, NVE says:
It has been claimed that wind turbines emit significant amounts of such infrasound. However, this is probably due to the fact that such a sound occurred on older downwind wind turbines in the USA before the development of wind power gained momentum in Europe. Such downwind turbines are designed with the blades positioned downwind of the tower in such a way that the blade end passes through the turbulence in the shadow of the tower, resulting in a knocking sound, with infrasound each time the blade passes the tower. All modern turbines meanwhile have an upwind design, with the blades positioned upwind of the tower (so that the wind passes the blades before the tower) and the effect is eliminated.
Here, NVE clearly acts as a pure lobbying organization for the developer, where the aim is to render harmless and trivialize the obvious harmful effects. At the same time, one reveals a rather weak level of knowledge and an unusually large resistance to acquiring new and updated knowledge. This is not sustainable from a public administrator such as NVE, whose role is to manage the community's values for the benefit of the community. That NVE acts as the developer's extended arm in case after case is both wrong and reprehensible.
Radio Haugaland: Building a wind farm in Tysvær against the will of the people
It's brewing up to a full storm
Both wind power cases are highly controversial with major conflicts. That NVE now chooses to approve both cases on the same day as the new oil and energy minister is appointed can hardly be a coincidence. Two controversial cases on the same day are not common fare. NVE has now sent a strong signal to the population and to incoming oil and energy minister Sylvi Listhaug.
"IT IS WE, NVE, WHO DECIDE HERE, AND WE DO WHAT WE WANT..."
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency takes the fight
The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association takes NVE's conduct seriously. Both cases are so serious and full of conflict and with major consequences for nature, the environment, health, local populations and the rights of indigenous people, that these decisions do not stand up. They are also given on a flawed and incorrect basis. A clear political action from NVE as an administrative body. We cannot accept this.