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Fears of Russian invasion lead to wind turbine ban in Eastern Finland

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Aerial view of windmills in green summer forest in Finland. Image credit: nblx / Shutterstock.com

In this week’s Gossage Gossip, our columnist discusses the recent restrictions imposed by the Finnish Ministry of Defence on wind turbine installations along the Russian border.

More wind farms should not be built in Eastern Finland as turbines distract radar operations along the 1,300km land border with Russia, according to an official communique from the Finnish Ministry of Defence. After 103 years of neutrality, Finland has now officially joined NATO in reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Any further turbines over 50m tall or smaller ones 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 40km. Wind farms create shadow zones, interfering with reflections, making regional surveillance more difficult. 

Over the last decade, about 80% of statements given by the army concerning the establishment of wind farms had been positive. This year, most wind farm applications have been firmly rejected. Reconciling Finland’s move towards self-sufficiency in electricity and enhancing green transition while taking security concerns into account has – to put it diplomatically – complicated the situation.

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