Sweden protects cod and refuses west coast construction permit

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In a split judgement, Sweden's highest environmental court has refused permission for development of 30 turbines off Sweden's west coast in the Kattegat Sea between Sweden and Denmark. The majority view was that construction and operation of turbines at the site off Falkenberg would disturb "cod at play." The concern was raised by the Swedish state fishing authority, Fiskeriverket. All the court's invited experts and reports said the Fiskeriverket's concerns were unfounded, as well as the court's own expert, Lars Hydén. The Falkenberg project was consented by a lower level environmental court in 2007, but was called in by the higher court, which has overturned the earlier permit. Matthias Rapp from the Swedish wind energy association finds it strange that the country's environmental authorities have stopped a project that would have saved 500,000 tons of C02 emissions each year. He is waiting for the latest judgement to be appealed and is convinced the decision will be reversed. "The court's own expert evaluation supports that point of view," he says.

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