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Finland

Finland

Minister waves the wind flag

Finland's Ministry of Environment (MoE) is to draft new proposals that are strategically geared towards encouraging investment by private and public investors in large scale onshore and offshore wind farms. "This government needs to re-assess its position towards wind power and the benefits to the national economy of wind generated energy. We need more and larger wind farms, preferably offshore projects," says environment minister Jan-Erik Enestam.

Finland's environmental responsibilities under the Kyoto Treaty give the government the necessary platform it requires to promote wind farms, says Enestam. "More needs to be done to ensure that we attain our goals," he adds. "What we will try and work towards is a partnership that includes state and private investors. A large scale wind farm would be a positive means of declaring Finland's intent to invest more in wind power."

The MoE is to hold talks this month with the Ministry of Trade and Industry on innovative ways of stimulating investment in wind power by the Finnish energy sector and other businesses. The emphasis is on assembling a private-state investment group to design, finance and construct a wind farm with an installed capacity of 50-100 MW. "The wind farm we are now proposing would be like a laboratory where it is possible to chart the environmental impact of wind power and develop further national wind power technology and capacity," says Enestam. Finland has just one wind turbine manufacturer, WinWind.

The MoE has been working with regional and local municipal authorities since 2002 to survey potential sites for onshore and offshore wind farms. "The newest surveys are ongoing and most are focused on coastal sites, offshore west coast sites and sites in Lapland. We expected that most of the surveys will be completed by the end of the year," says Enestam.

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