Norwegian Court Slams Noisy Wind Farms Wrecking Reindeer Herders’ Lives & Livelihoods

Norway’s Supreme Court has stripped two wind farms of their operating licenses for wrecking the lives of Sami reindeer herders.

Life in the frozen North was never meant to be easy – sub-zero temperatures and stark isolation are tough enough, but Sami reindeer herders have drawn the line at the adverse effect the visual and auditory cacophony these things generate has on their livestock.

Giant 260m turbines with 60m blades generate shadow flicker and pulsing, thumping low-frequency noise – a well-known source of disturbance for grazing (and other) animals; reindeer apparently no exception.

For centuries, the nomadic Sami have herded their reindeer across northern Europe’s frozen tundra, ranging across the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula. And have done so untouched by industry and urbanization. Until now.

Over the last decade or so, hundreds of these things have been speared across their grazing rangelands.

Not afraid of the crony capitalists who have wrecked their lives and livelihoods – and their political apologists in Oslo – who’ve helped them do so, the Sami have fought back to prevent their homeland from being overrun by the rolling industrial onslaught that is the wind industry.

Rejecting the spin, lies and hollow promises tossed up by largely foreign-owned wind power outfits (mainly Swedes and Germans), they went on the offence, with numerous actions launched in Norway’s Supreme Court.

In a stunning victory, the Court determined that the wind farm’s operators had breached international law by interfering with the indigenous Sami’s right to live and exist as they have done for generations. Now they want the whole noisy, industrial mess dismantled and removed from what was once pristine wilderness. Fair enough, too.

Two Norway wind farms lose licence in landmark ruling over indigenous rights
Reuters
Nora Bull and Terje Solsvik
11 October 2021

Norway’s supreme court stripped two wind farms of their operating licences on Monday in a case that could boost the legal rights of the country’s indigenous Sami people.

Reindeer herders in Norway argue the sight and sound of wind turbines frighten animals grazing nearby and thus jeopardise age-old traditions, and that land should not be expropriated for such projects.

The supreme court case centred on whether the construction of turbines at Storheia and Roan in the Fosen region of central Norway, part of a $1.3 billion development that is Europe’s largest onshore wind farm, had interfered with Sami herders’ cultural rights under international conventions.

“A grand chamber of the supreme court unanimously found an interference with this right, and ruled the wind power licence and the expropriation decision invalid,” the court said in its ruling.

It did not say what should happen next to the facilities, but a lawyer representing the herders said the verdict means the 151 wind turbines should be dismantled.

“Our starting point is that these two wind farms are illegal and have to be taken down,” Knut Helge Hurum of the Fend law firm told Reuters.

“We are awaiting contact from the owners of the wind farm to see what they have to say about this.”

Fosen Vind developed both sites and remains the main owner of Storheia. Fosen Vind is owned by Statkraft (STATKF.UL), TroenderEnergi (TROEN.UL) and Nordic Wind Power DA, a consortium of Energy Infrastructure Partners and Swiss power firm BKW (BKWB.S).

The court’s decision came as a surprise, Fosen Vind said in a statement, adding it would await a response from the energy ministry before making further comment.

The ministry said it was studying the verdict.

“We’ll have to come back to how this case should be handled,” an energy ministry spokesperson said.

The verdict could also affect other projects, Hurum of the Fend law firm said.

“It will have quite an impact on later developments inside the Sami reindeer area. It’s certainly relevant for other wind farms, but also for mines and other big development projects, big roads for example,” he said.

The Roan wind farm is now a separate company, Roan Vind, owned by TroenderEnergi (TROEN.UL), Stadtwerke Muenchen and Nordic Wind Power.

($1 = 8.5450 Norwegian crowns)
Reuters

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on whatyareckon and commented:
    These renewable lovers are a menace to society as a whole.

  2. Andre Lauzon says:

    Very good news………

  3. roger bennett says:

    Common sense will prevail eventually and rid us of these ugly monstrosities.

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