1945 - 1970

Economic reconstruction and large-scale development

Once World War II was over, economic reconstruction of the country began in earnest – with hydropower as the key resource. Major new power plant developments would deliver energy to large-scale industries that could provide the country with badly needed export revenues.

1945 - 1950
Mechanisation and large-scale operation


Expertise development and a pioneering spirit characterised the Norwegian state’s power plant developments after the war. No other period has been as challenging for the state's hydropower engineers and construction workers.

1950 - 1960
Building inside mountains


From 1950 to 1960, the state constructed large hydropower plants across the country. At the same time, a change occurred that represented enormous developments in technology and advanced engineering. Technological advances meant that power plants planned and built in this period acquired totally new dimensions. From the 1950s, major facilities were hidden inside mountains, primarily for reasons of emergency preparedness. This change represented a crucial development in technology and advanced engineering. Mountain power plants with large machine rooms provided architects with completely new challenges. As in the old plants, the machine rooms in some plants were still monumental, but the exterior design of the reception buildings was often much simpler.

The Aura development


The need for power for heavy industry and households had increased dramatically after the war, and the development of Aura power plant was one of the first major post-war construction projects.

1955 - 1958
Røssåga power plants


Nedre Røssåga power plant was one of the major hydropower construction projects in Norway after the war, enormous both in terms of operation and crew.

Tokke power plants


The development of Tokke was the most extensive hydropower initiative in Norway up until that time. Its vast size made Tokke a symbol of the engineering feats Norway could achieve. The water feeding tunnels are up to 75 meters wide and there were a total of 15 dams constructed.

1965 - 1970
The environment and major challenges

1965-1970In the 1960s, hydropower development became more controversial, and political conflict increased. Environmental and nature conservation gained a progressively stronger influence on the choice of river systems to be developed and on the planning of individual projects.