This spring The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate presented their proposal regarding the development of wind power on the Norwegian mainland.
Initially, 43 huge geographical areas were analyzed. Basically, the entire country was being considered. They've now narrowed it down to 13 areas which they regard as being the most suitable for the construction of wind parks. At the same time, several concessions have previously been given to developers and many wind park projects are already constructed or currently in the works, both inside and outside of these 13 identified areas. Add all this up and you have a shitload of huge construction sites littered all over Norway.
Consequently, tensions are high between the people that would rather see these areas left untouched and the people eager to make a buck under the guise of producing «green energy». The problem is that Norway is already «green» energy self-sufficient because of abundant hydroelectric power. Basically, we don't need all this extra energy. But somehow, through an elaborate market based electric certificate arrangement between Norway, Sweden, and the EU, it is now becoming hugely profitable for big energy companies to dig into, blow up and demolish vast expanses of pristine Norwegian nature to install hundreds of wind turbines reaching as high as 200 meters off the ground. The idea is that this electric certificate scheme will incentivize renewable energy systems and reduce CO2 emissions. But, even though the initial intentions behind this arrangement might have been good, it has turned into a highly questionable race to erect massive amounts of huge wind turbines, causing irreversible damage to ecosystems, wildlife, and human well-being.
Ironically it is mostly German investors who have gotten their claws into this market in Norway. In Germany, they have already implemented large scale wind power production, but emissions are not decreasing much at all. This is because of the inherent unreliability of the wind, forcing the Germans to ramp up their coal- and gas burning power plants whenever the wind turbines don't produce electricity. Which is obviously quite often. So now they are trying to get the winds of Norway to blow for them, and Norway seems more than willing to let them have at it. Giant, costly cables on the seabed will bring the electric power into the EU, and I suppose the consumers are likely to pick up most of the bill in the end. Unfortunately, the data shows that the contribution of all this Norwegian wind power is so minuscule that it is best described as an electric drop in a huge European power bucket. The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate estimate that Norwegian wind power will be able to generate close to 10 TWh total at the end of 2019. The gross electricity generation in the EU was 3255 TWh in 2016. Wind power production in Norway adds up to a whopping 0.3 % contribution.
Despite this, large scale industrial wind power projects are now underway in an unprecedented feat of habitat destruction, environmental degradation, and economic opportunism. Needless to say, this pisses me off. Especially since there are viable options to this madness that does not include such disregard for the environment, and that will also reduce emissions without completely screwing up the ecosystems we rely on for our health and prosperity. Go check out the emerging technologies that can turn every home and building into a power plant of its own, and you will see that the potential is enormous. But of course, this technology lacks the financial backing that the established energy companies are benefitting from. Regrettably, it seems that the mantra is still profit over people, even when it comes to «green» energy.
As I said, all this pisses me off. In fact, it pisses me off so much that I had to resort to poetry. The proposal regarding wind power production in Norway has been sent on public consultation until October this year by The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. So instead of giving feedback in lame bureaucratic terms, I decided to give them a lame poem instead. I hereby submit my consultation response:
This seems like a defining moment in history. How can we manage our resources responsibly? A formidable task lies ahead. So you ask us for our opinion, which is customary within this democratic dominion.
My humble opinion shall be given, however futile this might be. A mere David battling a Goliath is how it feels to me. But if that giant was defeated by a single stone, then will, and precision may be all it takes to drive one's point home.
It seems we must produce more and more to fuel this current economic scheme, and the latest industry primed to grow has been labeled green. At first glance, this surely must be a delight, but scratching the surface reveals a color not that bright.
Littering the land with towers of revolving steel?
This is so obviously not conducive to life. The animals, birds and people alike, will suffer greatly from such a shortsighted strike. It will inflict wounds that are beyond us to heal, an everlasting testament to this disastrous deal.
Erecting these enormous towers, carving roads and flattening the land. That's not how you implement a new, green plan. Maybe you will reduce some emissions this way, but you must consider the enormous cost, when so much of the natural world is lost.
Our country's wind and water are up for grabs, and this might be the ultimate test. Will they allow cooperations to extract the rest? The green battery of Europe its called, but this battery will be left wounded and mauled. What good is calling it green, when there is no nature left to be seen.
Some politicians might cheer this madness on, fueled by the antics of the power lobby clown. Are they hoping some revenue will trickle down? Environmental consciousness is absent from this equation, making money fast is what permeates the deliberation.
Keeping ecosystems healthy and free, that is what our ultimate goal must be.
Instead, you're making monstrous pincushions out of mountaintops and pristine plains, all in the name of short term capital gains. We already produce the power we need, so how do you justify this awful deed?
The solution is staring us right in the face; locally produced power from the wind and the sun. That's where you should put your money, the development has just begun. Startups like Semtive and Icewind are showing the way, you can produce the power you need at home, both night and day.
Silent wind turbines. Solar windows and solar roof tiles.
Yes, they're making these now for domestic use, with powerwalls to store the energy we produce. This way we can reduce our reliance on a centralized grid, and start to set right, all the destructive things we did.
The science on nuclear is eye-opening too It seems the impact is small, so what do we do? Go look at the data and think again. There is no reason to believe in the scare campaign.
Re-examine the scale of this harmful plan, you need not ruin so much of the land. Tear down the dams and let the rivers flow free, that's how you implement sustainability.
We should surely harness the power of the wind, but not in a way that makes the future so dim. Why must we always extract resources on an industrial scale? Solutions exist to do it locally so that nature will prevail.
Putting a wind turbine or two on your roof should be easy, creating cheap power whenever it is breezy. No need to blow up the mountains or drain the bogs. And it won't kill the eagles or disrupt the frogs.
But the powers that be are myopic in their view, failing to incentivize technology that is promising and new. Our systems are stuck in a destructive groove, and greenwashing degradation is the latest political tool.
The natural world is disappearing bit by bit, but we must make money, so who gives a shit. Hopefully, more will begin to care, when they start to demolish the places people hold dear.
Revolving steel reaching far towards the sky?
This will make everyone sick and left feeling numb. From the visual pollution and the low-frequency hum. If you must produce this power industrially, then why not put it out of sight, in the sea?
This is already being done, quite successfully.
But no, you must map the land because the winds are also blowing here. Must we exploit every inch of this planetary sphere? You see the potential to make investors rich, I see the rest of us powerless in the ditch.
In summary, there are things that seem obvious to me. Wind parks don't belong on land, put them in the sea. On land, we must utilize the local potential, to make energy from the wind truly sustainable.
Wind parks impact on untouched land is just too great. Surely a foolish endeavor to undertake. We will look back at this and feel alarmed. When we realize how much nature was harmed
How will you explain to your children one day, when they bring you their questions of great dismay; Did you help erect these monuments to excess? How could you be so careless? Causing such distress?