Hopes for a revival with policy change -- Dismal year in Finland

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Just four small projects added 4.135 MW of wind capacity in Finland in 2005, well down on the 30 MW in 2004. The main project was a 3 MW Finnish WinWind machine erected by Haminan Energia in Kemi. The three others were Vestas machines, two of them small second hand units. Three Enercon 2 MW turbines installed in 2004 by Saba Wind at Barösund were decommissioned in 2005. Turbulent winds in the hilly Barösund terrain made the site unsuitable for wind plant operation, says Enercon's project manage Holger Wilke. The national wind total remains at 83 MW.

Slight evidence of political support for the wind market is emerging. A bill to cut tax levied on wind power plants from 1.5% to 1% should become law by the end of this month and parliament approved the government's Energy and Climate Report late last year. It aims "to increase the use of power derived from renewable sources by at least a quarter by 2015 and by at least 40% by 2025," says trade and industry minister Mauri Pekkarinen. The law, to take effect in 2008, proposes a 50% cut in corporate tax levied on generating operations on condition the saving is invested in new wind projects and renewables R&D. Moreover, green power investment will be eligible for 40-60% tax relief.

Activity in the sector looks set to pick up, with plans for over 70 MW over the next two years and a further 50-150 MW, planned by the municipality of Varsinais Suomi, in the districts of Ulkoluoto and Oro by 2009.

Domestic turbine manufacturer WinWind managed to keep things ticking over. It will install ten further turbines at Kemi in 2007 and is supplying Finland's biggest wind energy producer, Suomen Hyötytuuli, with a 3 MW unit, to be commissioned in May at Pori on the west cost. WindWind has also clinched orders for developments in Sweden, Portugal and Estonia, where it will supply eight 3 MW machines to the Viru Nigula wind farm in Estonia for Vardar Eurus. The plant is due for commissioning in July.

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