Finnish armed forces oppose building wind farms over defence concerns

Turbines over 50 metres tall or situated close to strategic areas require a green light from the armed forces. According to the military, the distance between a wind turbine and a radar installation must be at least 40 kilometres. Wind farms create shadow zones, interfering reflections making regional surveillance more difficult. [Shutterstock/Oleksii Sidorov]

More wind farms should not be built in Eastern Finland as wind turbines distract radar operations along the 1,300-kilometre-long land border with Russia, according to the Finnish Defence Forces.

Turbines over 50 metres tall or situated close to strategic areas require a green light from the armed forces. According to the military, the distance between a wind turbine and a radar installation must be at least 40 kilometres. Wind farms create shadow zones, interfering with reflections making regional surveillance more difficult.

In the last ten years, about 80% of statements given by the army concerning the establishment of wind farms had been positive until the security situation changed due to the Ukrainian war and Finland applying for NATO membership.

This year, most wind farm applications have been rejected as reconciling Finland’s move towards self-sufficiency in electricity and enhancing green transition while taking security concerns into account has complicated the situation.

Regional imbalances will increase as most wind farms will be established in the western part of the country, meaning the eastern region will lose out on significant investments. Eastern communes are already calling for compensation to cover the losses.

According to Finnish Wind Power Association, wind power currently comprises around 10% of electricity consumed in Finland. The target is to reach 27% by 2025. By the end of 2022, there are estimated to be around 1,000 wind power plants in the country.

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