Wind Power in FinlandMany localities in Finland would be suitable for the generation of wind power, including coastal sites, coastal waters of the Baltic Sea, and the exposed fells of Finnish Lapland. Surveys have indicated that the total potential for wind power in marine waters alone amounts to tens of terawatt-hours a year.
More wind turbines neededIt is clearly possible for Finland to increase its wind power considerably from today’s modest levels. In the end of 2013 Finland had a total of 211 working wind power plants, with a total capacity of 448 MW. Wind power accounts for about 1% of the electricity consumed in Finland.
The 2013 National Energy and Climate Strategy includes a target to increase the volume of electricity produced by wind power to about nine terawatt-hours by 2025. This will require more large-scale investment as the annual production in 2013 totallede approximately 0.5 terawatt-hours. Achieving the target will require the conststruction of about one thousand wind turbines of at least three megawatts.
Wind power is supported, for example, with the feed-in tariff scheme, which entered into force in 2011. The wind farm investments accepted for the scheme receive from the government a feed-in tariff tied to the electricity market price for 12 years. The government also aims to fund an offshore wind demonstration project with EUR 20 million in 2015.
Limited environmental impactsGenerating electricity using wind power only has relatively minor environmental impacts – especially since it does not result in any emissions. Landscape impacts, land use, bird strikes and localised noise problems are the most significant issues.
The most serious considerations relate to the visual impacts of wind turbines on landscapes, since these tall structures are prominently visible over long distances. New wind turbines have to be located as sensitively as possible, to ensure they do not spoil areas of natural beauty. Suitable locations may be found offshore or in areas where they can fit in well into existing cultural landscapes.