Finnish Energy Industries (ET) says that the military is blocking plans to develop wind power. The Defence Forces say that studies need to be done on windmills’ effects on radar, but so far has not agreed to help fund research.
ET, the Defence Forces and the government have been arguing over the issue most of the autumn. Research done in western Europe and the United States points to windmills interfering with the reliability of radar, a view echoed by the Technical Research Center of Finland.
In recent years windmills have grown taller and the size of wind power parks has increased.
“We want reliable and sensible research done across Finland on the effects of radar and wind power parks for training and schooling purposes,” says Lieutenant-Colonel Arto Ikonen, from the General Staff of the Defence Forces.
“By no means are we opposed to wind power, but the effects have to be studied quickly.”
Government won’t pay for study
Finland’s Energy Industries ET and power companies have agreed to pay for half of the hundreds of thousands of euros needed for the study, but says neither the military nor the government is willing to co-operate.
“We’ve asked the Defence Forces, and they won’t help pay for it,” says ET’s Director of Power Generation, Jukka Leskelä. “Neither will the Defence Ministry, nor the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.”
ET feels that the Defence Forces’ views have essentially stagnated windmill construction in Finland. In Kotka, for example, local power company Kotkan Voima has suspended plans to build a wind power park because of military objections.
“On the one hand, the government supports building wind power, but then a government agency, the Defence Forces, blocks their construction, and the government has no money to study the issue,” fumes Leskelä.