Finland and the Wind Farm Projects

Murray Chris
Murray Chris
Project Manager

Finland and the Wind Farm Projects: A Green Future or a Pipe Dream?

Finland is a country that has set ambitious goals for its energy transition. The Nordic nation wants to be completely carbon neutral by 2035 and has built a lot of onshore wind in the past ten years. However, Finland also has a huge potential for offshore wind, which has been largely untapped until recently. In this article, I will explore the benefits and challenges of developing offshore wind farms in Finland, and why this renewable source could be a game-changer for the country's energy system.

The Benefits of Offshore Wind

Offshore wind is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources in the world, with global installed capacity reaching over 35 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2020. Offshore wind has several advantages over onshore wind, such as:

  • Higher and more consistent wind speeds, which result in higher capacity factors and more electricity generation.
  • Larger turbine sizes, which reduce the cost per megawatt (MW) and increase the efficiency of power production.
  • Lower visual and noise impacts, which reduce the social and environmental opposition to wind projects.
  • Proximity to coastal load centers, which reduce the need for transmission infrastructure and grid congestion.

The IEA classifies offshore wind as a “variable baseload technology” owing to its high capacity factors and lower variability. This means that offshore wind can supply a constant and reliable amount of electricity to the grid, more consistently and reliably than onshore wind farms, due to the higher and more stable wind speeds at sea. This is especially important for Finland, which has a high demand for electricity in winter due to its cold climate and long nights. Offshore wind can complement other renewable sources, such as solar and hydro, which have seasonal and diurnal variations.

Despite its benefits, offshore wind also faces some significant challenges, such as:

  • Higher capital costs, which require large upfront investments and long-term financing.
  • Technical risks, which include harsh weather conditions, complex installation and maintenance operations, and grid integration issues.
  • Regulatory barriers, which involve lengthy permitting processes, environmental assessments, and stakeholder consultations.
  • Market uncertainties, which depend on the level of policy support, electricity prices, and competition from other energy sources.

On-shore wind also has some potential negative impacts on wildlife, such as birds and bats that may collide with the turbines or suffer from habitat loss or displacement. Moreover, offshore wind may affect marine life, such as fish and mammals that may be disturbed by noise, electromagnetic fields, or changes in water quality or currents. These impacts need to be carefully assessed and mitigated through appropriate design, monitoring, and compensation measures.

The Status of Offshore Wind in Finland

Finland has a long coastline of over 1,100 kilometers and an exclusive economic zone of over 80,000 square kilometers in the Baltic Sea. According to a study by Metsähallitus, the state-owned forest and seabed administrator, Finland has a technical potential of over 6,000 MW of offshore wind power in its territorial waters. However, Finland has only three operating offshore wind farms as of 2024, with a total capacity of 60 MW. These are:

- Reposaaren tuulipuisto: A 30 MW project developed by Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy in Pori, consisting of 10 turbines of 3 MW each.

- Tahkoluoto: A 40 MW project developed by Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy in Pori, consisting of 10 turbines of 4 MW each. This project is the world's first offshore wind farm designed for icy conditions.

- Kemin Ajoksen I: A 30 MW project developed by OX2 in Kemi, consisting of 6 turbines of 5 MW each.

These projects have been supported by feed-in tariffs or investment grants from the Finnish government. However, these subsidies are not sufficient to make offshore wind competitive with other energy sources in Finland, such as nuclear or biomass. Therefore, Finland needs to adopt more favorable policies and incentives to stimulate the development of offshore wind.

The Future of Offshore Wind in Finland

Finland has taken some steps to boost its offshore wind sector in recent years. In July 2022, the Finnish government granted permits to lease its seabed for the development of two large-scale offshore wind farms:

- Korsnäs: A 1.4 GW project planned by Skyborn Renewables GmbH (formerly wpd) in Vaasa, consisting of up to 280 turbines of 5 MW each.

- Pooki: A 1.2 GW project planned by Skyborn Renewables GmbH (formerly wpd) in Kristiinankaupunki, consisting of up to 240 turbines of 5 MW each.

These projects are expected to be tendered in 2023-2024 and to start operating in 2028-2030. They will be the largest offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and will increase Finland's offshore wind capacity by 40 times. These projects will also be the first ones to use market-based mechanisms, such as contracts for difference or power purchase agreements, to secure their revenues.

In addition to these projects, Finland has several other offshore wind projects under planning. These include:

- Pitkämatalaan: A 100 MW project planned by Fortum Oyj in Rauma, consisting of 20 turbines of 5 MW each.

- Maakrunnin: A 100 MW project planned by Fortum Oyj in Kalajoki, consisting of 20 turbines of 5 MW each.

- Oulun Haukiputaan merituulipuisto: A 300 MW project planned by Innopower Oy and Oulun Energia in Oulu, consisting of 60 turbines of 5 MW each.

- Raahe - Maanahkiainen: A 500 MW project planned by Rajakiiri OY in Raahe, consisting of 100 turbines of 5 MW each.

- Kristiinankaupungin edustan merituulivoimapuisto: A 1.2 GW project planned by Innopower Oy in Kristiinankaupunki, consisting of up to 240 turbines of 5 MW each.

These projects are still in the early stages of development and face various technical, regulatory, and market challenges. They will require strong political and social support, as well as favorable financing and grid conditions, to become a reality.

Why Wind Over Other Renewables?

Finland has a diverse energy mix, with a high share of renewable sources. According to Statistics Finland, in 2020, the country's electricity production was composed of:

  • Nuclear: 34%
  • Hydro: 21%
  • Wind: 9%
  • Biomass: 8%
  • Coal: 7%
  • Natural gas: 6%
  • Solar: <1%
  • Others: 15%

Finland has a large potential for increasing its renewable energy production, especially from wind and solar. However, these sources have some limitations that make offshore wind an attractive option for Finland. For instance:

- Solar power is limited by the low solar irradiation and the long winter nights in Finland. Solar power can only provide peak power during the summer months and has a low capacity factor of around 10%.

- Onshore wind power is constrained by the availability and suitability of land, as well as the social and environmental opposition to wind turbines. Onshore wind power also has a lower capacity factor than offshore wind, around 25% versus 40%.

- Hydro power is dependent on the water availability and flow, which can vary depending on the precipitation and climate change. Hydro power also has environmental impacts on the aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity.

- Biomass power is reliant on the availability and sustainability of biomass resources, such as wood or waste. Biomass power also has emissions associated with its combustion and transportation.

Offshore wind power can overcome some of these limitations and provide a large-scale, reliable, and low-carbon source of electricity for Finland. Offshore wind power can also create economic benefits for Finland, such as job creation, industrial development, and export opportunities.


Offshore wind power is a promising renewable energy source for Finland, which can help the country achieve its carbon neutrality goal and enhance its energy security. However, offshore wind power also faces some challenges, such as high costs, technical risks, regulatory barriers, and market uncertainties.

Finland needs to adopt more supportive policies and incentives to foster the development of offshore wind projects and to overcome the social and environmental concerns. Offshore wind power can be a game-changer for Finland's energy system if it is implemented in a smart and sustainable way.

If you are interested in learning more or need professional assistance with your designs, engineering and feasibility studies, please feel free to contact me or any of the energy experts and consultants at Welado. I would love to hear from you and discuss how we can work together to make your renewable energy dreams a reality. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more updates on my LinkedIn page.

Chris Murray, chris.murray@welado.fi, +358 40 149 3888

EPC Project Manager & PV Solar expert | BMS & HVAC | Finland