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 May 2009 Finland had a total of 118 working wind power plants, with a total capacity of 144 MW. Wind power accounts for about 0.3% of the electricity consumed in Finland.
The 2008 National Climate and Energy Strategy includes a target that six terawatt hours a year should be generated using wind power in Finland by 2020. This would necessitate an increase in total national wind power capacity to around 2,000 MW.
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.