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The licensing procedures may seem complex, however it is a challenge for NVE and relevant authorities to make them work properly and without delay.
The hydropower legislation and guidelines laid the groundwork for later EIA regulations. Three public consultations may also frighten some developers. But these procedures along with full transparency in the process are basic elements in our democratic society.
On bigger projects, plans may change from one stage to another as a result of new input to the process. However, the master plan for new or revised projects and the licensing process could be better co-ordinated.
In Norway the master plan is too rigid, and too few possibilities exist for changes to be made during the licensing process, regarding new project alternatives outside the range of the master plan.
Recently we have also learnt that the Master Plan for hydropower project seems to be outdated. The criteria and evaluations made in the late eighties seem not longer valid. The Government has recently announced that the Master Plan and the Protection Plan will be updated.
Licenses granted at the beginning of the 20th have few conditions concerning the environment. The licenses from before 1959 have no expire date and no possibility for revising the conditions. We have had to change the laws in order to revise some of the older licenses.
Attitudes regarding river courses and hydropower development are likely to change over a period of time, and it is important to balance the predictability the developers expect with the change in public attitude.
Middelthunsgate 29, Postboks 5091 Majorstua, 0301 Oslo Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone+ 47 22 95 95 95NVE's flood forecasting service +47 22 95 93 60 | +47 909 92 231