A wind turbine in Hanko, Southern Finland, on 5 January 2023. Wind power accounted for more than a fifth of the electricity produced in Finland between January and March, according to Finnish Energy. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)


JUKKA LESKELÄ, the chief executive of Finnish Energy, on Thursday revealed that wind power was used to generate as much as 21.5 per cent of electricity in Finland between January and March, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

The proportion jumped by 50 per cent from the previous year due to a 2,000-megawatt increase in wind power capacity, the fifth largest capacity increase in the world.

New wind farms thus have a greater total nominal capacity than the newly completed third reactor unit at Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Eurajoki, Satakunta. Nuclear power plants, however, produce about three times as much electricity as wind farms with the same nominal capacity, Helsingin Sanomat reminded on Thursday.

The 1,600-megawatt reactor unit began regular electricity production in mid-March. Finland has since been on average self-sufficient on energy.

Leskelä on Thursday pointed out that the growing renewable energy capacity has created a historic opportunity to attract foreign investments in industries such as food and automotive to Finland. Jukka Ruusunen, the chief executive of Fingrid, confirmed that the power grid operator has recently received a lot of enquiries about industrial electricity connections, a sign of large industrial investments gradually moving forward.

Most such investments relate one way or another to the green transition.

The Finnish energy industry believes the debate generated by certain political players about the pace and necessity of climate actions is somewhat odd. As Finland is about to have substantial capacity for producing emission-free electricity, the debate should revolve primarily around how to attract industrial investments that use the electricity.

“As renewable electricity production increases significantly, so does the need for regulating power. We need solutions for that. We should carry out a broad study into this and mull over the possible measures based on it,” said Leskelä.

He spoke about the importance of renewable electricity capacity at the general assembly of Finnish Energy in Seinäjoki, South Ostrobothnia.

Leskelä in a press release identified local district heating systems as another strength for Finland, highlighting that they provide much-needed flexibility to the energy system and enable the production of hydrogen, for example, more competitively.

“The Finnish government that is set to take office soon will have a major role in this,” he argued.

“The government must make determined measures that open investment opportunities. At the same time, the government must assume an increasingly active role in the EU and make Finland a member state that is larger than its size.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT