Wind Energy: Engage, Involve, Energize!

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Finland

Finland finland

 

Overall summary

 

State of play wind capacity installed and 2020 target

Cumulative onshore capacity - end 2014: 600.7 MW

NREAP target 2020 (onshore): 1,600 MW (estimation only)

Source: European Wind Energy Association; European Commission, DG Energy, National Action Plan

In Finland, electricity from renewable energy sources is mainly incentivised through a premium tariff. The tariff applies to electricity produced from wind, biomass and biogas. Additionally, investments in RES are supported through state subsidies. Access to the grid by electricity produced from renewable energy sources follows the principle of non-discrimination and electricity produced from RES is not given priority. Find out more here.

 

Legal framework for information, engagement and financial measures

Finland’s land use planning system, as defined in the Land Use and Building Act (132/1999), is based on a three level planning hierarchy. The basic principle of the planning system is moving down the hierarchy towards more specific plans, so that the higher level plan guides the lower. The regional land use plan (maakuntakaava) is a generic plan, which guides development on the regional level. It has to promote the national land use guidelines, which provide generic targets for good land use policies. The plan is prepared and approved by the regional councils and ratified by the Ministry of the Environment. The two municipal land use plans are local master plan (yleiskaava) and de-tailed plan (asemakaava). Both the local master plans and detailed plans are drafted and approved by the municipalities. In practice, the plans are generally prepared by consultants and the developer is responsible for the planning costs, but the municipality is always the approving party. However, the approval is a political decision, which means that the municipality is not obliged to approve the plan. The project cannot be taken forward, unless the approval has been obtained.

The obligation to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is prescribed in the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (468/1994). All wind power projects that involve a minimum of ten wind turbines or a total power generation capacity of 30 MW or more must undergo the EIA procedure. There are various legal requirements regarding the public’s rights to participate in the land use planning, as well as requirements on hearing parties of interest. Despite the legal requirements of land use planning, the dominant feature concerning local land use planning is that the municipalities have a monopoly on the land use planning within the municipality’s borders.

Both land use planning and EIA procedures have mandatory public hearings procedure where residents are informed and can have a saying about the project planned. Every resident of the relevant municipality has the right to challenge a land use planning decision made by the local council. The appeal is handled by the administrative court which has territorial jurisdiction regarding the municipality in question. Further, the ruling of the relevant administrative court may, in most cases, be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court. The administrative court may only rule on the legality of the decision; not the expediency of the decision.

The Finish Wind Power Association (STY) intends to influence project development practices to follow a generally accepted code of conduct for developers. More information on the process can be found on the website of the Finish Wind Power Association.

 

Source: Finnish Wind Power Association