FrP will investigate nuclear power or gas power, as well as continue mining on Svalbard. The party believes that nuclear power is not a consideration in the energy plan for Longyearbyen.
There has been some discussion about the energy supply for the Svalbard archipelago. This has previously been solved with coal-fired power, since coal is the product on which business on the island has traditionally been based.
But after coal power and all associated with it has almost been banned due to climate concerns, people have had to look for other ways to supply this society with electricity.
In connection with the Svalbard budget for 2021–2022, the government had asked the Longyearbyen local government to develop a specific energy plan for Longyearbyen the previous year.
The plan drawn up by the local government means that the coal-fired power plant will be shut down by 2023. Temporary energy supply will then be taken care of by existing reserve power plants that run on diesel, with plans to phase in renewable energy.
Diesel is then transported to Svalbard and burned there to produce power. This is claimed to be an important step towards improving the Earth’s climate.
Many believe this is rather inappropriate. But the battle to preserve coal power as an energy source on the island is considered lost anyway. Here, too, the climate arguments have trumped most other, often more reason-based argumentation.
FrP has looked for other solutions other than transporting diesel to the island. According to NTB, the party points out that nuclear power and gas have not been considered. On Thursday will present several representative proposals to the Storting.
The entire basis of life and presence on Svalbard is dependent on safe and stable energy. If it fails, the island would have to be evacuated. We therefore ask the government that nuclear power and gas should also be investigated as possible energy solutions for Svalbard, says parliamentary representative Marius Arion Nilsen (FrP) in an email to NTB.
Furthermore, he states that Svalbard is geopolitically more important than ever and that a policy must be pursued that reflects this. Part of this, according to FrP, will be to keep the coal operation on Svalbard.
You can see that the big nations are constantly focusing more on the northern areas with an increasing presence, while the government’s policy weakens the Norwegian presence. Svalbard must be developed and it is important for Norwegian security that we have a strong Norwegian presence in Svalbard, says Nilsen and adds:
We believe it is unwise to shut down the coal operation and propose that the coal mines continue beyond 2025.
Furthermore, it is proposed that the government give relevant actors on Svalbard a mandate and funds for further exploration of gold and mineral deposits north of Longyearbyen. The government should submit comprehensive plans for Svalbard regarding, among other things, a strengthened Norwegian presence and employment.
Few people believe that this proposal will be supported by many people other than FrP’s own representatives. Firstly, it requires the use of gas or nuclear power, which is embraced with scepticism by other parties. Also the word coal mining does not arouse significant enthusiasm with the many climate parties in the Storting.
Secondly, alternative energy proposals from FrP rarely gain support from anyone other than the party itself, regardless of how rational the proposal may be.