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Defence Forces: Few wind power locations available

Finland is increasingly denying applications for wind power permits.

Tyrinselän tuulivoimala.
Most wind farms are situated around the Gulf of Bothnia on Finland's western coast. Image: Dani Branthin / Yle
Yle News

So far this year the Defence Forces have rejected more wind power applications than they have approved. The Defence Forces said they estimate that they'll turn down a third of permit applications this year, signalling a change from earlier approval rates.

Over the past ten years, the authorities have greenlit some 80 percent of planned wind power projects.

Any plans to build new wind turbines more than 50 metres tall or within the vicinity of a strategic area, must be submitted to the General Staff of the Armed Forces, which has the right to block any such project.

"We're running out of good wind power locations. That's clear," said Jussi Karhila of the Defence Forces.

The Defence Forces are increasingly turning down applications. The primary reason for this is a matter of defence policy as wind turbines can interfere with regional surveillance and radar operations, particularly in eastern Finland.

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine limiting Russian energy imports and Finland winding down peat burning for fuel, the need for alternative energy sources is growing. In Finland's east, this presents new challenges.

This has led to regional leaders calling for a new compensation system in wind power tax revenue due to a clear disparity between western and eastern Finland in terms of wind power distribution, with most of the turbines concentrated in western areas.

Some one thousand wind farms currently operate in Finland.

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