The first project to suffer has been a two-turbine plant planned by provincial utility Kainuun Sähkö for the hilly regions of eastern Finland -- slated to use two 1.75 MW Vestas units (Windpower Monthly, October 2000), Holttinen says. With word from the trade and industry ministry that the utility would only receive 25% of the cost of the project instead of the 35% expected, Kainuun Sähkö backed out and began looking for other options in a more favourable wind regime, Holttinen says.
Other projects at stake due to the subsidy cuts are Hyötytuuli Oy's planned extension of its 8 MW wind farm with a 2 MW turbine, as well as Tunturituuli's 5 MW ski resort project in Ylläs, Lapland (Windpower Monthly, September 2000). "Altogether, the situation looks gloomy right now," says Holttinen.
The Finnish renewables lobby is working on a political solution. Holttinen points out that the Finnish wind industry -- including gear supplier Santasalo and generator suppliers ABB Motors and ABB Industry -- has brought Finland almost FIM 1 billion in exports. "This could grow five to tenfold during the next ten years," providing "maybe ten thousand new permanent jobs within the sector in just ten years," says the association.
Without any kind of support that is unlikely to happen, however, and the first Finnish wind turbine, WinWinD WWD-1, currently being assembled and tested in Oulu, will never be commercialised, warns Holttinen. Considering that Finland is at the climax of a long economic boom, he fails to understand the government's attitude, especially with Finland struggling to meet its Kyoto commitments.