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Environmental Restoration in Hydropower Development—Lessons from Norway

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 5020 Bergen, Norway
2
Department of Social Science, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 5020 Bergen, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093358
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydropower Production)
Hydropower is expanding globally and is regarded a key measure for mitigating climate change, but it also results in major environmental degradation, both at local scale and more widely. We can learn lessons about how restoration can be used to alleviate these problems from failures and successes in countries with a long history of hydropower development, such as Norway. Here, hydropower projects grew larger over time, and in the 1960s, the emerging environmentalist movement started to challenge hydropower developments because of their negative impacts on the environment. The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate then appointed a landscape architect who became very influential, particularly due to his skills in aesthetics and photo documentation. He developed principles for designing self-sustaining environments which he called “living nature”, and in particular proposed methods of restoring barren, unattractive, alpine spoil heaps. Later, restoration methods and goals have changed in response to new insights and the changing goals of ecological restoration. Here, we present current best practice for the alpine biome and sum up general lessons in three points: restoration can represent a sustainable, ‘third way’ in the conflict between conservation and development; including a wider group of professionals may improve restoration goals and methods, and effective use of visual communication can be a good way of gaining support for new restoration principles. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy; restoration ecology; environmental degradation; Norway; landscape architecture; hydropower; management; planning renewable energy; restoration ecology; environmental degradation; Norway; landscape architecture; hydropower; management; planning
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Auestad, I.; Nilsen, Y.; Rydgren, K. Environmental Restoration in Hydropower Development—Lessons from Norway. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3358.

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