Thousands drive over new Hardanger bridge

A controversial new bridge over the scenic Hardanger Fjord already attracted more than 13,000 motorists just during its opening weekend. The traffic exceeds all expectations. The toll for a single car is NOK 150 (USD 25) and NOK 600 for a truck or trailer, and that may well curtail traffic after the weekend of free […]

‘Monster masts’ are delayed

The controversial overhead power lines that are to be installed in the Hardanger Fjord have hit yet another hitch. The project, dubbed “monster masts” by detractors, will be delayed by one year. “The goal was to complete the power line between Sima and Samnanger by 2012, but we see now that we will need to work through […]

‘Monster Masts’ activists strike again

Campaigners protesting the building of overhead power lines in Hardanger Fjord – nicknamed “Monster Masts” by detractors – took part in a sit-in protest to ground a helicopter used by state electricity authorities to install the lines on Monday. The activists are part of an ongoing campaign to stop the building of overhead powerlines in […]

‘Monster masts’ reach Hardanger

The building of controversial overhead power lines, dubbed “monster masts” by opponents, has moved into a new phase that will see construction begin in the scenic region of Hardanger, with local campaigners planning action to disrupt the process. The escalation of the construction project began on Monday, with work planned to become possible in several […]

Critics blast government’s bombs

Norway’s left-center government unleashed two environmental bombs within 24 hours of each other this week, timed to explode when millions of Norwegians are both distracted and cheered by the Nordic World Ski Championships (Ski-VM) going on in Oslo. Now not only will controversial overhead power masts be built in Hardanger, but the long-awaited carbon capture […]

Masts won the battle of Hardanger

UPDATED: Overhead power masts will be built after all in the scenic Hardanger area of Norway’s southwest mountains, the government confirmed on Tuesday. Cabinet ministers dropped alternative undersea cables, because they’re too expensive, time-consuming to put in place and raise environmental issues of their own. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) led its morning broadcasts with news that […]

‘Postpone the monster masts’

Campaigners against the “monster mast” power lines in Hardanger have told ministers that they would like to see the project postponed or at the very least changed to underground and undersea cables, as the oil and energy ministry began discussions on the issue Thursday. Supporters of the overhead power masts joined opponents during meetings with […]

Slight poll shift in ‘monster mast’ saga

Public support for alternatives to building so-called “monster mast” power lines in scenic Hardanger has fallen – but Norwegians remain skeptical about the “monster masts” themselves, according to a new poll by research firm Sentio for newspaper Nationen. Respondents backing undersea cables – as a less unsightly alternative to overhead power masts – numbered 43.3 […]

Splits form on environmental issues

Competing and conflicting concerns regarding conservation and the need to mitigate climate change look set to widen divisions between organizations and actors within Norway’s environmental movement. A split between strict conservationists, who wish to avoid any encroachments on Norway’s renowned natural beauty, and those who feel renewable energy projects should take precedence over such concerns, […]

Undersea cables would ‘inflict pain’

Proposed alternatives to the hotly contested Hardanger Fjord ‘monster mast’ power lines have been described as just as threatening to the area’s ecosystem as overhead power masts by a leading environmental research group. Representatives from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Norsk institut for naturforskning, NINA) have suggested that undersea cables would threaten the previously […]