Päijät-Häme has no current wind power production. In this article we explore the current state of wind power development in the region of Päijät-Häme and its future including on-going projects and studies.
Authors: Paavo Lähteenaro and Katerina Medkova
According to preliminary data, the share of renewable energy in total energy consumption in Finland reached 40% in 2020. The share of wind power reached 9.8%, totalling 7 970 GWh. (Statistics Finland 2021, 42.)
Furthermore, the preliminary data shows that the industry consumed 46% of total electricity in 2020 (Statistics Finland 2021, 42). An Interreg Europe co-funded project RESINDUSTRY – Policies for Renewable Energy Sources in Industry (Interreg Europe 2021) aims to increase the implementation of renewables in industrial applications. In Finland, RESINDUSTRY is managed by LAB University of Applied Sciences.
Market analysis (LAB 2021) performed as part of RESINDUSTRY reveals Finland’s potential for wind energy as being even higher than average in Europe, making it, along with biomass and hydropower the most suitable form of renewable energy for Finland. Finland’s wind power potential can be seen in the map by ESPON (Image 1), represented also in the RESINDUSTRY market analysis.
Image 1. European wind resources (ESPON 2010)
Wind farms in Päijät-Häme
RESINDUSTRY performed a regional analysis of Päijät-Häme, charting the current state of renewable energy production and use, including the state of wind power. The regional analysis found that in Päijät-Häme, there is no current wind power production. However, there are four current ongoing wind power projects.
In Hartola, there is Kinkkulanmäki wind farm planned by Ilmatar Windpower Oyj, consisting of two windmills totalling 7 MW peak production. It has received a building permit, but they have been appealed and the plant is not in active development due to already outdated design by 2021 but is still under consideration. (Arvekari 2021)
There are a total of three projects by one company, Solarwind by Janneniska Oy. Rekolanvuori wind farm in Sysmä, totalling 26 MW peak production with six windmills and is awaiting municipal zoning, which is set to be finished by end of 2021. Perheniemi wind farm in Iitti, which has received building permits and is planned to be completed by 2022. It will consist of six mills totalling 25,2 MW peak production. The final project is located in Huukinkorpi in Heinola, on the border of Asikkala and will consist of maximum six windmills set to total 36 MW, being the tallest and largest of the projects with modern windmills up to 250 meters tall. It too will require municipal zoning before the permitting process can be done. Further complicated by its location on the border of two municipalities, its visual effects touching both jurisdictions. (Perälä 2021.)
The northern part of Päijät-Häme is the most suitable for wind energy both due to its rural nature making permitting easier due to low population density and its higher elevation resulting in the more available wind. (Elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskus 2021.)
Ongoing projects supporting wind energy in Päijät-Häme
The Regional Council of Päijät-Häme (RCPH) is one of the main RESINDUSTRY’s stakeholders. RCPH has received 35 000€ grant from the Ministry of the Environment to conduct a study examining the wind energy potential in the region (Päijät-Hämeen Liitto 2021). Discussions in the RESINDUSTRY project included the idea of increasing wind power in the region and updating suitable locations for windmills. In addition, the topic has been discussed in the RESINDUSTRY local stakeholder meetings and tackled in the market analysis outcomes.
Since the previous study from 2012, wind power technology has developed, and the heights of power plants have increased. By reviewing present conditions, the study results may reveal new locations suitable for wind power production in the Päijät-Häme region. Furthermore, the study will provide background data for the next comprehensive regional plan, which controls the location of regionally significant wind power production areas. (Päijät-Hämeen Liitto 2021.) Discussions with other municipalities will be included in the study, in order to avoid possible obstacles in wind energy implementation. At the same time, both the public and private sectors can then benefit from this study. The recently started study lasts one year and the total budget is estimated at EUR 50,000. (Päijät-Hämeen Liitto 2021.)
Also, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) has recently conducted a study of the wind power state in Kanta-Häme and Päijät-Häme regions. At the time of the study, altogether 800 wind power plants were identified in Finland, out of which four in Kanta-Häme and none in Päijät-Häme. (Elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskus 2021.)
In the study, funded by the Ministry of the Environment, many aspects related to the windmill’s construction were included. The six-month study focused on construction constraints, possible challenges, locations, and acceptance by the general public. Due to the technology development and decreased costs connected to building windmills, the number of suitable locations has also increased. (Elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskus 2021.)
According to the ELY survey, the single biggest reason for the low presence of wind farms in the Häme regions is the rejection by the residents. Therefore, the general attitude could be improved through open discussions with residents and providing sufficient information. (Elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskus 2021.)
Arvekari, E. 2021. Tuulipuistohanke etenee. Etelä-Suomen Sanomat 1.6.2021, A9.
Elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskus. 2021.Tuulivoimaa Hämeeseen? – Kanta-Hämeen ja Päijät-Hämeen tuulivoimatilanteen selvitystyö on valmistunut. [Cited 2 Aug 2021]. Available at: https://www.ely-keskus.fi/ely-hame-tuulivoimaselvitys
ESPON. 2011. Wind Power Potential in the EU regions. [Cited 17 Sep 2021]. Available at: https://www.espon.eu/topics-policy/publications/maps-month/wind-power-and-photovoltaic-potential
Interreg Europe. 2021. Project Summary. RESINDUSTRY. [Cited 25 Jul 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/resindustry/
LAB University of Applied Sciences. 2021. RESINDUSTRY Market Analysis. [Cited 28 Aug 2021]. Available at: https://www.lab.fi/sites/default/files/2021-08/FINAL_MA_LAB_Finland_with%20Annexes.pdf
Perälä, S. 2021. Energiaa ei vielä tuoteta tuulella. Etelä-Suomen Sanomat 28.7.2021, A5.
Päijät-Hämeen Liitto. 2021. Tuulivoimaselvitys käynnistyy Päijät-Hämeessä. [Cited 25 Jul 2021]. Available at: https://paijat-hame.fi/tuulivoimaselvitys-kaynnistyy-paijat-hameessa/
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Paavo Lähteenaro works as an energy expert at LAB University of Applied Sciences, working in the RESINDUSTRY project with the aim of furthering the adopting of renewable energy use in industry.
Katerina Medkova works as an RDI specialist at LAB University of Applied Sciences and is the RESINDUSTRY Project & Communication Manager.
Illustration: https://www.pexels.com/fi-fi/kuva/aamu-taivas-ulkona-ruoho-3608056/ (Pexels Licence)
Reference to this article
Lähteenaro, P. & Medkova, K. 2021. The current and future state of wind energy in Päijät-Häme. LAB Pro. [Cited and date of citation]. Available at: https://www.labopen.fi/en/lab-pro/the-current-and-future-state-of-wind-energy-in-paijat-hame/