‘Monster mast’ conclusions arrive

UPDATED: Four separate panels of experts delivered their opinions on Tuesday regarding the financial and technical aspects of the now infamous “monster mast” debate, which still rages over proposals to build overhead power lines in the scenic tourist hotspot of the Hardanger Fjord. Controversial proposals to build a lengthy row of overhead lines in the […]

New power lines stir more static

Tensions between Norwegians’ energy demands and environmental concerns look set to ignite once again, as new plans to build large stretches of power lines over vulnerable coastal locations were unveiled on Monday. Norway’s water resources and energy directorate (Norges vassdrags- og energidirektorat, NVE) has published plans to build power lines from Kollsnes to Mongstad, crossing […]

Electricity rates soar as temps sink

Norwegians are being told to brace for shockingly high electricity bills this winter after temperatures sank and a deep freeze took hold this week. Demand is now outstripping supply in a country where hydro-electric power was once plentiful and cheap, and double-digit price hikes are predicted. Low water levels in nearly all of Norway’s reservoirs […]

Civil disobedience in Hardanger

Environmental activists keen on protecting the scenic Hardanger Fjord from what they consider unsightly power lines did their best to block the start of construction on one stretch of the project early Monday. Aided by poor weather, they succeeded. Officials for Statnett, the state enterprise responsible for Norway’s power grid, decided to postpone work on […]

Hardanger activists up in arms

Environmental activists in Hardanger, who don’t want to see power lines built around the scenic Hardanger Fjord, have erupted in anger once again. They’re furious over what they call “propaganda” published this week by state power agency Statnett. Their fury has resurfaced just after Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg visited the area for what was supposed to […]

Stoltenberg reaches out to Vestlandet

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg ventured into the lions’ den this week, traveling to the site of his government’s controversial plans to run new power lines through Hardanger in Vestlandet (western Norway). While there, he also announced plans for a new children’s hospital in Bergen. Stoltenberg was met by chanting, sign-waving demonstrators who don’t want ugly […]

Minister offers new compromise

An underground, instead of undersea, cable may wind up as the compromise solution to a heated political conflict over how to run power lines through the scenic mountain area around Norway’s Hardanger Fjord.  Newspaper Aftenposten reported Thursday that embattled Oil & Energy Minister Terje Riis-Johansen is inviting all sides in the conflict to discuss the […]

New anger rises over Hardanger

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was back on the defensive Monday morning, after Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that his government may not set up an independent review of controversial power lines over Hardanger after all. Local politicians in the scenic mountain area fear they’ve been fooled. NRK reported that the government is considering ordering various reports […]

More power line battles loom

Overhead power lines dot the landscape all over Norway, but now local officials may step up demands for underground or underwater cables instead, after the government agreed to re-consider them in the heated debate over Hardanger. Construction of what some have called “monster masts” over the scenic Hardanger Fjord unleashed a torrent of criticism against […]

Government re-evaluates alternatives to disputed Hardanger power lines

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg met opponents of overhead power lines in Hardanger face-to-face in his office on Tuesday, and later said his government would re-evaluate the possibility of running an underwater cable through the area instead. In an effort to prove he was listening to “the wishes from Hardanger,” Stoltenberg spent two hours meeting with […]