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23 February 2024 | News

Almost 7 GW of wind power in Finland

2023 was the second busiest year for wind power in Finland's history: the combined peak power of wind turbines increased by 1.3 gigawatts (GW). In 2024, another 1 GW of additional wind power is expected to come online. At the same time, economic uncertainty, rising costs and war in Europe have also hit wind power, with new investments taking longer to secure. Continuity of investment is important for supply chains and industrial projects that need Finnish, clean and affordable power generation.

Almost 7 GW of wind power in Finland
Wind power near Raahe. Photo: City of Raahe

Finland now has 1,601 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 6,946 megawatts (MW), with a capacity increase of 212 turbines and 1,280 MW in 2023. During the year, 4 wind turbines with a total capacity of 12 MW were dismantled in Finland.

Wind power in Finland is still heavily concentrated in North Ostrobothnia and other Ostrobothnian regions. In 2023, the regions of North Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia and South Ostrobothnia were the regions where the most new power plants were built. North Ostrobothnia accounts for 38.5% of Finland's wind power and is also home to the majority of projects under development.

"While regionally balanced construction would be very important for many reasons, it is nice to see that those municipalities that already have a lot of wind turbines are also promising more. So people are used to wind power and do not feel it is an unreasonable inconvenience," says Anni Mikkonen, CEO of the Finnish Wind Energy Association.

An increase of around 1000 MW is expected for 2024, and almost 1 500 MW of new wind power capacity is already planned for 2025. Although the projects under construction are known exactly, it is easy for projects to shift from one year to the next, earlier or later than planned. "The actual erection of the turbines is planned to take place during the summer season, the windiest time of the year. However, the commissioning phase can take several months, so the end of the year is always an exciting time as to which side of the year the turbines will be considered completed," says Mikkonen, describing the phases of wind power construction.

"As recently as the end of last year, there were new investment decisions on projects that will be completed as early as 2025. Rising costs and general uncertainty mean that everything, for example, is being negotiated in greater detail and for longer - things are confirmed at a later stage. We are confident about the continuity of the construction momentum. Continued construction is extremely important: Finland cannot compete with many other countries for subsidies to veto projects and other new clean transition industrial projects. Our competitive advantage lies in the possibility of building more clean and affordable electricity generation, sensible regulation and smooth licensing processes. This is important to keep firmly in mind this year as the government's numerous wind energy envelopes are implemented. Finland must keep up with the competition for new giant investments and the work to modernise the energy system must go ahead - regardless of the economic cycle," says Mikkonen.