Finnish ministry proposes to remove military radar

Offshore wind could benefit from relocation plan

Legislation designed to finance the relocation of military radar in the Raahe district of Finland in order to encourage wind energy development has been drafted by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and Economy.

The new law is designed to remove an obstacle that has been standing in the way of wind developers, including those seeking to build offshore projects in the Bay of Bothnia.

A parliamentary vote is planned for May. If the proposed law is passed, removal of an existing military radar would go ahead, with €18.5m earmarked for a new radar system in another location.

Wind energy investments valued at hundreds of millions of euros have gone unrealised in the Raahe due to the radar issue, according to the ministry. Finland’s military has vetoed some wind farms, but often projects have languished without the military taking a clear position in favour or against.

The bill covers a 2,425km² area, including waters in the Bay of Bothnia. "The proposed law would encompass offshore projects as well," Anja Liukko, senior legal advisor at the ministry, confirmed to Windpower Offshore.

Even if the radar relocation goes ahead, it is not certain that new offshore capacity would result. Liukko said that the Finnish government is aware that an existing renewable energy tariff scheme is not sufficient to support offshore wind. Last year, the national parliament allocated a one-time additional subsidy of €20m to be awarded to the developer of the country’s first major offshore project.

"We are studying offshore wind," said Liukko, adding that an external consultant will be asked to carry out a cost analysis. Finland’s stated national goal is to increase wind power production to 9TWh/pa by 2025, which would require some 2.5GW in new capacity.


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