New wind targets on the way

The Finnish government is expected to confirm new wind power targets by the end of the year to coincide with the publication of its preliminary report on the country's new climate and energy strategy. The strategy, under review by the environment and economy ministries, foresees capital grants being made available to developers with a view to increasing wind capacity from just 130 MW at the end of 2007 to 2000-3000 MW by 2020. "The government recognises the potential to raise wind power production in Finland and stimulate investment in the sector. We are looking for a long term strategy," says environment minister Paula Lehtomäki, who notes there is particularly good potential for large wind farms along the country's coastal areas. The report will also examine what support measures are needed to boost wind development, including the possible introduction of a system based on government mandated prices for power purchases. The government's increased enthusiasm for wind is matched by growing public support. A recent poll by TNS Gallup for the Centre Party reports that 62% of Finns favour more measures to increase wind capacity.

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