Wind's share of Nordic market could increase says Finnish research centre

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Wind power's share of the Nordic electricity market could be significantly increased without the need for any changes to the region's existing energy infrastructure, claims a report published by Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus (VTT), the Finnish national technical research centre. Moreover, increasing wind power production could reduce problems arising from fluctuations in power supply across the region, it adds. Nordic governments should thus amend existing energy policies to include a larger "wind power dimension," suggests the report, which was written by Hannele Holttinen. With Sweden planning to decommission its nuclear power capacity and Norway opposing construction of gas fired power plants, wind power is, it stresses, one of the few viable energy production alternatives. Meanwhile, another VTT report warns the Finnish government may have to significantly increase its support for renewable energy development if it is to meet its European Union goal for more than 30% of its electricity supply to come from renewable energy sources by 2010. "Finland uses more renewable energy than many other countries. Even so, it may be difficult for Finland to reach the EU's 30 per cent target," says the report's author, Professor Mikko Kara. Wind power currently accounts for less than one per cent of Finland's energy supply. The government wants that to rise to ten per cent by 2020. This may have to be increased if Finland is to meet its EU goals, says Kara, who notes: "The potential to develop wind power in Finland is very significant."

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