In Finland, the Government regularly coordinates joint analysis, assessment and research activities on various topics in order to produce information that supports decision-making and improves working practices. By using research, foresight, assessment and monitoring data more effectively, the knowledge base underlying policy decisions becomes more solid which, in turn, facilitates quality and efficiency.
During the summer, the Finnish Government’s analysis, assessment and research division (VN TEAS) published a study on the means of advancing wind power construction in Finland. The study was undertaken by the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Defence in cooperation with HPP, FCG Finnish Consulting Group Oy, VTT, the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI and KPMG. HPP’s team members in the working group included, among others, Senior Associate Jesse Viljanen and Associate Suvi Kurki-Suonio.
The report and policy recommendations of the project “Promotion of Wind Power Construction – Ways for Smooth Project Development and Coordination of Different Objectives” describes the current state of wind power construction and related legislation and examines three key issues in more detail:
1) streamlining regulatory procedures,
2) improving the profitability of offshore wind power: and
3) coordinating wind power construction and issues of concern to the Defence Forces.
Each subject area consists of a description of its current state, as well as of proposals for measures which are subsequently presented as conclusions. The proposals for streamlining the regulatory procedures include improving the dialogue between authorities and operators as well as detailed proposals concerning the EIA procedure, land use planning, impact assessments and some other permit and statement procedures.
One of the proposals that has received most attention in the media is the proposal to coordinate the interests of the Defence Forces relating to territorial surveillance and the interests of wind power developers by regulating the process regarding the need to obtain an approval from the Defence Forces for the construction of a wind farm by law.
The study concludes that since the wind power sector is developing rapidly it is crucial that legislation keeps pace with the technological and other developments in the sector. Currently several projects to amend legislation applicable to construction of wind farms are pending, such as amendments to the Finnish Land Use and Building Act and the Act on Real Estate Tax. The study presents the current status of these projects as well as options on how to take them forward.
“As a Tier 1 firm in the Energy sector, we are very pleased to use our expertise to support this initiative to progress the development of wind power in Finland and contribute to a smoother process in developing projects in the future,”, says Björn Nykvist, HPP’s Head of Energy and an experienced lawyer advising on the development, construction and operation of Finnish wind farms.
“Working with different ministries and other experts was very interesting and provided new perspectives on wind power projects”, says Senior Associate Jesse Viljanen, who participated in the study.