Wind Wire: Fixed price plans

A mandated purchase price for wind power may be introduced in Finland in 2010 to run for 12 years, says Jukka Ruusunen, CEO of Finnish transmission system operator Fingrid.

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The target price is EUR83.50/MWh and generators would be guaranteed access to the grid. A working group looking into the proposal could submit its definitive report in October, according to Finland's economic affairs minister Mauri Pekkarinen. The group suggested the target price in its interim report delivered to Pekkarinen in April, but Ruusunen says the price is likely to drop for new turbines coming online each year as wind capacity grows. "I do not believe we are talking about a flat rate here," he says. "The current discussion is more focused on the capital costs of onshore and offshore projects rather than setting rates according to whether one site has more wind advantage than another." The government's priority is to build 2000 MW to 2400 MW of new wind power capacity by 2020, says Pekkarinen, who adds that there are no plans at this stage to place a cap on the total budget. The market price, according to Pekkarinen's ministry, is EUR50/MWh, resulting in a premium for wind of EUR33.5/MWh. The government is considering a windfall tax on nuclear and hydro power generation to fund the difference between market prices and the price proposed for wind. The tax is expected to raise EUR300 million. "It's up to the Finnish government to create an environment supportive of investment," says Juha Naukkarinen, the head of Finnish Energy Industries. "Industry cannot absorb much more taxation. The energy industry is ready to make significant investments to achieve Finland's climate goals, keep the price of energy at a reasonable level and increase the security of supply for energy and electricity."


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