Debaters: load your arguments
By Tyson Weaver
Rewind back into time and imagine a scene from the American Wild Wild West: 2 men standing in the thoroughfare with leather chaps and dirt ridden garments, staring each other down, ready to draw their six shooter pistols in order to take the other out. The last man standing wins. In most cases what led to the event was a disagreement and the means to solve the dispute was handled in such a way at the time.
A similar scene is unfolding in the regional districts of Norway. However opponents are swapping words for six shooters in the battle for what goes on in the backyard or down the road: prospective new energy developments. The upscaling of renewable energy capacity is taking a significant leap, but not without a fight. On the one side you have governmental bodies and energy firms, on the other concerned citizens and environmental protectionists.
Current wind power planning applications under behandling at NVE are a whopping 21 gigawatts of new capacity (65 terawatt hours of production). With hydropower, it’s a quieter story. 3,8 gigawatts of new capacity plans are søknader at NVE (8,6 terawatt hours production). The scale of plans cannot be understated. If all plans and concessions are realized and constructed 24,8 gigawatts of new electricity supply would come online with an anticipated production total of 73,6 terawatt hours. As a reference point of departure, national current supply exists around 29,6 GW with annual production fluctuating between 123-143 TWh. Clearly not all plans will be realized, and many projects will be abandoned. However this does not change the fact that the wave is well on its way, the question remaining is: how strong will the impact or pull through be?
Such controversial environmental debates are not new, however the scale and frequency to which they arise in the coming years just may be. Recently I was informed of one such debate going on in Florø. It’s a classic case, energy companies are responding to the needs of rising demand and governmental requests for more renewable capacity, whilst concerned stakeholders fear violation of their living environment are taking a stand on the other. Are such instances going to be a revisit of the American Wild Wild West?
Who wins in the end? The answer is simple: whoever has the most plausible and persuasive fact based arguments loaded into their six shooter and unloads their rounds at the right time. So I repeat: debaters- load your arguments.