It’s not the sexiest ratings headline that’s been sent out by the Department of Petroleum and Energy this summer.
“Hearing on the proposals to amend the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy in Buildings Directive” is called the consultation proposal.
The proposal is linked to the European RePowerEU plan and aims to make Europe less dependent on the import of Russian gas.
But behind it lies a huge conflict. Something that the ministry noticed since the deadline for consultation was reached Monday, August 22 at midnight.
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Not translated into Norwegian
– I should note that the consultation document should have been translated into Norwegian. The consultation period is too short and should certainly not be added to the summer holidays, writes a lady named Cathrine Høst during the public consultation.
She submitted one of a total of 6,805 consultation responses. It is rare, to say the least, for changes in directives to lead to such a reaction.
The consultation letter that has been sent is related to the European Commission’s work on energy and is only available in English. The hearing was launched on June 9 and initially had a hearing deadline of August 8, but it was postponed to August 22.
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Nettavisen has gone through some of the responses from the consultation, and most of them are in favor of increased development of onshore wind energy. In particular, many fear that the victory of opponents of wind energy with local rights of determination will be overtaken by the new guidelines.
According to Motvind Norge, the organization that has been campaigning intensively and aggressively against wind development for several years, there are a few things that worry them the most.
– According to the proposals, wind power concessions can benefit from simplified emergency treatment. Among other things, this will mean an extremely limited time for participation and investigation, they write in the consultation statement.
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About the war in Ukraine
They believe that the entire consultation process needs to be redone, as all relevant documents have been made available in Norwegian and the consultation period only starts when this has been made available.
The government, for its part, believes it is important for the EU to address solutions to make Europe less dependent on gas imports from Russia.
– We are happy that the consultation on such an important subject is widely engaging. These are the EU’s ambitions to become independent of imports from Russia due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as the fact that high energy prices have contributed to a need increased, State Secretary Andreas Bjelland Eriksen (Ap) tells Nettavisen.
He says work is already underway in the EU Council and the Commission. He thinks it is not a problem that the text is not available in Norwegian and that is completely normal.
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– The usual thing in Norway is that Norwegian translations of regulations are only made when they are to be incorporated into the EEA Agreement and after they have been adopted and announced in the EU. The proposed changes to the directive have not yet been adopted in the EU and it is too early to say whether they will be incorporated into the EEA agreement, says Bjelland Eriksen.
The government must go through the consultation of the answers that have been received, which, given the number, can offer a significant amount of work.
Vice President John Fiskvik in Motvind reacts to the government’s failure to translate the consultation proposal.
– It is outrageous that the underlying documents have not been translated and are not available in Norwegian, Nynorsk or Sami. This is of course an unequivocal requirement in such an important matter, Fiskvik told Nettavisen.
They say wind power is undesirable in Norwegian nature, and that “destroying so much nature” for what he calls a small contribution to EU energy policy is a mistake.
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– It is very shocking that the Norwegian authorities fall into the trap and accept that European countries put their companies before Norwegian interests, to be an underutilization of electricity production for the EU. There are many indications that the government is doing this, says Fiskvik.
However, Bjelland Eriksen in government believes it is clear that high energy prices and the crisis in Europe must be prioritized along with energy efficiency measures and faster development of renewables.
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