New environmental measures to impact Norway's water resources

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-14 21:54:38|Editor: Xiaoxia
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OSLO, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- New environmental measures by 2022 would affect 70 percent of Norway's water resources, newspaper Aftenposten reported Monday.

One of the measures aiming to better protect fish could lead to a loss of 2.6 to 3.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of Norwegian annual power production, the report said.

The goal of the measures is "to improve the environmental situation in regulated watercourses," which, however, is to be weighed against the main objective of the licenses for the production of electric power, according to Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Today there are 430 electricity concessions in 187 watercourses, and as much as 70 percent of the Norwegian hydropower can be re-evaluated and get new conditions.

"Since these licenses were granted more than 50 years ago, one was concerned about to build the country. Environmental considerations were subordinate. Now one can say that we repair some of the interventions that were done in nature," said Carsten Jensen from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).

Norwegian power company Statkraft is to be most affected by the change of terms.

"At a time when there more wind and eventually solar energy into the grid, there is a need for a producer such as hydropower that can balance this," said Vegard Pettersen, Statkraft's senior specialist for concessions and environment.

Statkraft supports the main purpose of revision of terms, but is also concerned that the entire power production is seen in context.

Each water resource is to be considered separately, Jensen said.

After rating of 187 waterways, the NVE said that 50 watercourses are given the highest priority when it comes to revision of terms.