Wind power is the key to increasing Finland’s energy self-sufficiency
According to the Project List updated by the Finnish Wind Power Association in March, Finland’s domestic wind power construction is strongly growing again this year. An increase in energy self-sufficiency is also supported by a statement issued by the European Commission in March, which said that the EU would significantly reduce its energy dependence on Russia. The EU is investing in e.g. renewable energy production and energy networks, and is increasing energy efficiency, biogas and hydrogen production.
A total of more than 330 onshore and offshore wind power projects are underway in Finland this year, most of which are at a very early stage. Of the planned power plants, 26 % are in the pre-study phase and 25 % of the projects have only just started zoning.
It is essential to look at the projects that have already progressed further in zoning, as well as the projects that are ready for construction. At the time of updating the project list, six per cent of the planned power plants had a formula approved by the municipality and nine per cent already had a building permit issued by the municipality.
“It is important to note that not all projects will be completed, as numerous studies are carefully carried out and permits and statements are sought from various parties before making an investment decision and construction. During the preliminary investigation phase, issues may arise that will terminate the wind power project. However, after the licensing is completed and the investment decision is made, the construction of wind power will proceed rapidly, ”explains Anni Mikkonen, CEO of the Finnish Wind Power Association.
“There should be a steady flow of projects in Finland so that we can build enough wind power to electrify industry, transport and heating. The growing hydrogen economy also needs clean domestic electricity generated by wind power. We are working hard to build wind power in Eastern Finland as well, while possibly supporting Finland’s regional control capacity, ”says Mikkonen.
The statistics illustrate that the further you go in Finland, the smaller the projects are. The majority of the projects are still located in the provinces of Ostrobothnia, although wind power is also being planned and built towards Central and Eastern Finland. Fewer wind power plants are planned for wind power projects in Central Finland than for wind power projects in Northern Finland.
Of the planned wind power capacity, 42 % is located in Northern Ostrobothnia, more than 10 % in Ostrobothnia, more than 8 % in Lapland, 5 % in Southern Ostrobothnia, 5 % in Kainuu and 4 % in Central Finland. Most of the projects are planned in the municipalities of Pyhäjärvi, Ii, Siikalatva, Oulu and Siikajoki.
In wind power construction, it would be important that the zoning and permitting phases would be accelerated. The key would be to provide additional resources to the Administrative Court and the Supreme Administrative Court to deal with complaints about formulas and permits.