Potential for 3000 MW with right market framework

Premium fixed prices for electricity from wind plants and tax breaks for wind power investors are under serious consideration by the Finnish government. "I would like to see a lot more wind power capacity added and more done at government and private sector levels to promote and invest in wind and other forms of renewable energy," says the country's new environment minister, Kimmo Tiilikainen. A report by his department suggests up to 3000 MW of wind capacity could be built in Finland by 2020 with the right market framework. Tiilikainen also hopes to ease the permitting of wind plant at both local and regional level. "It would be technically possible to expand Finland's wind power base by two to three thousand megawatts by 2020," says Lauri Luopajärvi of PVO Innopower, Finland's biggest wind power investor. He says that 150-200 MW would need to be built each year and around half could be offshore. Finland's installed wind capacity is expected to reach 120 MW by the end of this year, only 20 MW more than at the end of 2006. "A lot of work still needs to be done to persuade investors that adequate incentives are in place to make investments worthwhile," Luopajärvi says. A generous legal and incentives framework is needed. Even a more modest goal of 500-1000 MW would be tough to achieve without significantly improved support mechanisms. "The question of who pays also needs to be settled. Is it the state or the consumer?" Luopajärvi adds. "We need a long term, stable support scheme of a completely new magnitude in order to attract investors."

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