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Hydroelectricity Debate Divides Politicians

Politicians are divided over the construction of additional hydroelectric capacity. Power concern Pohjolan Voima announced on Friday it wanted to increase capacity by the construction of a plant at Pudasjärvi in northern Finland.

Centre party parliamentary group leader Timo Kalli has demanded a decision on the construction of hydroelectric plants in government negotiations after next spring's general election.

For his part, National Coalition Party leader Jyrki Katainen also supports additional hydroelectric capacity. SDP parliamentary leader Jouni Backman agrees with the idea but says any additional capacity must be added to existing plants.

Speaking on a YLE TV talk show on Saturday, the leader of the Swedish Peoples' Party Stefan Wallin said the environmental impact of any new hydroelectric plant must be assessed. He takes over as Environment Minister at the turn of the year.

Wallin did not favour any further state participation in the energy sector but said he was opposed to the break-up of power concern Fortum as suggested in a government sponsored report published last week. This called for a shake up in Finland's energy markets.

On the idea of a sixth nuclear reactor, Wallin said this should not be dismissed as an alternative.


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