Finland’s new ambitious Government Programme for offshore wind power

The recent Government Programme sets ambitious targets for increasing offshore wind power capacity, which are to be promoted in many different ways. During the current government term, the Government of Finland has promised to invest in, among other things, clarifying the regulation and taxation of additional wind power construction and streamlining the permit procedure in Finland’s land and water areas and introduce these elements to cover the Finnish exclusive economic zone. During the current government term, Finland will set an ambitious target for offshore wind power capacity in 2035.

The Government aims to ensure that the Finnish operating environment is as competitive and predictable as possible for wind power developers. At the same time, the aim is to ensure that offshore wind farms cause minimal disruption to other uses of sea areas, such as shipping and fishing.

From the perspective of Metsähallitus, the Government Programme’s entry on promoting offshore wind power and clarifying the legislation on the economic zone is welcome. As a state-owned enterprise, Metsähallitus’ mission is to make it possible to increase the production of renewable energy in state-owned land and water areas.

Metsähallitus promotes the ambitious goals of the Government Programme by organising competitive tendering in sea areas, in which the winner receives project rights and a long-term exclusive right to develop an offshore wind farm in the area. Metsähallitus will carry out all new area transfers in Finnish waters through competitive tendering.

Previously in the early 2010s, Metsähallitus has, on request, granted reservation agreements to various operators for Finnish territorial waters, which have allowed them to examine the suitability of the areas for offshore wind power production. The last extension of the old reservation agreements entitling the site to be examined was granted in accordance with the existing agreements in June 2023. Therefore, direct area rentals and reservations without target-specific competitive tendering have ended.

In all cases, ownership of the water area remains with the state. At the beginning of the projects allocated through tendering, Metsähallitus will act as a project developer. After the preliminary project development, Metsähallitus will organise an international auction for the area. The objective of offshore wind power development at Metsähallitus is to ensure that Finland is a responsible, attractive and predictable destination for industrial-scale offshore wind power investments.

Otto Swanljung
Director, Wind Power