Important guidelines to promote renewable energy investments made in the government discussion on spending limits

According to the Finnish Wind Power Association’s estimate, at least EUR 5.5 billion worth of wind power investments are pending before the administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court. It is important that the additional resources available for administrative rights are used to dismantle queues for zoning and building permits.

In its discussion on spending limits, the Finnish government has highlighted the need for a rapid exit from fossil energy. Investments in the green transition and clean domestic energy forms strengthen Finland’s self-sufficiency and security of supply. As part of the discussion on spending limits, the Finnish government has identified, among other things, a problem that is holding back the wind power sector, where billion-dollar investment decisions and construction projects are frozen in administrative appeals processes. The government’s decision is relevant. “Additional resources for administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court are very welcome. In wind power projects, the key stages that can be appealed to the administrative court are the wind power general plan and the building permit.

It is extremely important that the queue for appeals concerning formulas and permits is now dismantled with additional resources”, says Anni Mikkonen, CEO of the Finnish Wind Power Association.

“Wind power projects should be identified in the administrative courts as significant infrastructure projects, the handling of which should be speeded up. In Finland, more than 6 billion euros will be invested in wind power between 2022 and 2025. The amount is of the same order of magnitude as all fixed investments in Finnish industry combined in 2021. Although wind power projects alone rarely are equivalent to the largest industrial investments, the total value of decentralized wind power projects is significant. The amount of wind power investments for 2023-2025 may increase further if the projects are passed through the administrative courts more quickly. The wind power industry will quickly pay back this investment to the state”, says Mikkonen.

Wind power is the key to increasing energy self-sufficiency. Russian imports could be replaced by projects currently in court.

“It is important that citizens and other actors have the opportunity to appeal against decisions made and to ensure that the grounds for decisions are correct. It is one of the key operating principles of our society. At the same time, appeal processes should proceed smoothly. Especially now that Finland has to strive to get rid of imported energy at a fast pace, it is essential”, says Mikkonen.