10 questions about rock engineering
Wind power has improved greatly over a short period and, during the last five years, the power capacity of Finland wind power stations has doubled from 3 megawatts to 6, for instance. At the same time, there has been a lot of research into how wind power affects people and the environment. There are, however, still myths that persist due to political views or for other reasons. We have listed some of the most common ones below.
From 2011, the production of electricity from renewable energy sources was supported by a feed-in tariff. The tariff was a state production aid that was abolished at the end of 2017 for wind power. Even though the feed-in tariff has been abolished, people continue to second-guess the profitability of wind power. Already in 2019, however, all 56 completed wind turbines were built on market terms and wind power construction continues to follow market terms.
One of the most persistent reasons for opposing wind power has been noise. Even though wind turbines have grown in size in the last few years, they are also causing less noise than previously. Reducing the sound caused by wind turbines has, however, been a key area in recent development and with great success. People have also claimed that wind turbines generate a disturbing infrasound. A recently published large Finnish study discovered, however, that people are unable to perceive the infrasound generated by wind turbines and that it does not cause major physiological responses in the body.
The affordability of wind power has been overshadowed by the above mentioned dependency on state aid. However, the situation has changed quickly and wind power actually has the cheapest production costs among all energy production methods.
A wind turbine requires wind blowing 3–4 metres per second for it to start. This level is exceeded in practically all of Finland. Wind farms also produce electricity over 90% of the time, even if they are not always working at full capacity. Wind intensity also increases significantly at greater heights. Even though it might seem calm on the ground, the situation can be very different 100 metres above.
A poorly placed wind power plant can be harmful to birds and a potential hazard. This is why placing wind power plants correctly is the best way to minimise risks to birds. Correctly placed wind power plants are not a significant contributor to bird deaths, and more are killed due to, for example, traffic, electrical lines, glass structures, buildings and hunting.
Wind power plays a key role in reaching carbon neutrality