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Army’s Wind Turbine Ban Is Slowing Down Finland’s Transition to Clean Energy

Like any military conflict, the ongoing war in Ukraine has numerous consequences that we’re not even totally aware of right now. Due to its proximity to Russia, Finland is affected by security concerns even when it comes to its plan of expanding the use of clean power. A military ban on new wind turbines is seriously slowing down the country’s green ambitions.
The Finnish Defense Forces will be turning down a large number of wind farm applications this year due to security concerns 6 photos
Wind Turbines Can Interfere With Military Radar OperationsWind Turbines Can Interfere With Military Radar OperationsWind Turbines Can Interfere With Military Radar OperationsWind Turbines Can Interfere With Military Radar OperationsWind Turbines Can Interfere With Military Radar Operations
Wind turbines that are over 50-meter (164 feet) tall or that are located near strategic areas need to get the green light from the Finnish Defense Forces to operate. Over the years, most of the new projects got the required approval, but the current Ukrainian war has changed things drastically. Euractiv reports that most wind farm applications in Eastern Finland have been rejected this year.

The reason is that wind farms interfere with surveillance operations because they create so-called “shadow zones” that affect military radars. The Army requires a distance of at least 40 km (24.8 miles) between a wind turbine and a radar installation, but wind farms along the country’s border with Russia are apparently being banned entirely.

On the other hand, the ongoing conflict has also led to a decrease in Russian energy imports, according to Yle, which makes access to alternative energy sources even more important. Finland has to balance out these delicate issues. The disparity between the west (where more wind farms can be built) and the east (affected by security concerns) has caused regional leaders to plead for a compensation system.

According to the Finnish Wind Power Association, up to 1,000 wind turbines are expected to be operating in Finland this year. In less than a decade, the country went from wind power covering only 1% of its electricity consumption to almost 10% and is expected to grow to 27% by 2025. It’s unclear whether the current ban, due to military reasons, will affect this goal in the long run, but it’s already raising concerns.

 
 
 
 
 

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