Energy self-sufficiency must be promoted by all

The energy self-sufficiency of Finland has become an important topic. Self-sufficiency in various forms of energy production improves security of supply, and wind power is an excellent supplement to this. In other words, now is not the time to file appeals but to promote wind power projects that will help Finland become self-sufficient in energy.

According to a survey conducted by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra in 2021, electricity consumption will increase by more than 20% by 2035 and will even be doubled by 2050 compared to the current consumption (Enabling cost-efficient electrification in Finland, 2021). At the same time, fossil energy production is being run down. The demands of this growth and replacement production can only be met if wind power is made an essential part of electricity production. The production costs of onshore wind power are also lower than those of other carbon-free forms of production, such as nuclear power or offshore wind power.

However, various parties have objected to the use of wind power. Nearly all wind power projects receive unfounded complaints that delay the start of the projects, often by several years. Legal processes related to wind power should be accelerated as most of the complaints fall through. The technical development of wind power is so fast that the technology recorded in plans and permits may even become outdated during the long complaint processes, in which case the planning must be started over once the construction could finally begin.

In addition, the authorities should inspect areas suited to wind power in closer detail to make better use of them, for example in areas where environmental assumptions prevent project development. In these situations, the burden of proof is on the wind farm developer, and the authorities require several years of follow-up research on the movements of species before the project is given the greenlight.

People fear wind power needlessly; there is an abundance of information and research openly available. It indicates that wind power is a great option without trivialising environmental values, especially now that energy self-sufficiency is important for Finland. Some landowners, municipalities and cities have also recently realised this. Clean energy benefits everyone, and wind power is also a great asset for the local community with new income that allows the municipalities and cities to implement long-awaited projects, such as new schools.

As a conclusion, it is time for all parties to join forces and promote wind power projects in Finland. Are you in?

Wind Power

Mika Virtanen
EVP
Wind Power
Anne Piiparinen
Head of Division
Infrastructure construction