In an article in the Aftenposten daily newspaper on 28 October, the acting chairman of Unge Høyre, the youth division of the conservative party, Daniel Skjevik-Aasberg, claimed that the government is ruining the profitable development of clean wind energy in Norway. The government’s shelving of the national framework, “sends Norway's most important climate measure into free fall”, he writes.
Daniel Skjevik-Aasberg is clear on the fact that the government’s decision puts a spanner in the works for hydro and wind power. He argues that the most important factor for cutting Norwegian emissions of greenhouse gases and to reach the climate objectives is to electrify society. He thinks the government itself is contributing to putting new wind power projects on hold, which is tantamount to “the government putting on the brakes for the large renewable markets in Norway, and what could have been a green industrial fairy tale”. “It’s hard to believe”, writes Mr. Skjevik-Aasberg.
– Kept as hostage
Mr. Skjevik-Aasberg finds it fascinating how the government has let itself be influenced by wind power opponents, and how professional advice has been drowned in the debate on wind power on land. He refers to the survey conducted by Respons Analyse for NRK in April 2019, in which almost half the Norwegian people were positive to more wind power.
Mr. Skjevik-Aasberg argues that the government ought to prioritise the cleaning up of the renewable energy markets. He underscores the importance of a general plan for both wind and hydro power development. “The current situation is poor business, energy and climate policy. For a blue government that wants to solve the climate crises, this is not something to be proud of”, the acting Unge Høyre leader points out.
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Two years ago, Egersund had the highest unemployment rate in the country. The historical development of renewable energy around Egersund, the country’s wind power capital, has been a big contributor to turning this trend around.