Wind power construction provides employment

Finland has undertaken to build more wind power plants by 2020, worth a total capacity of 2,500 MW, in addition to its other projects involving the production of renewable energy. This represents a considerable increase in the country’s production of wind power energy when compared to the 145 wind power plants that were in operation in August 2012, whose combined output was just 234 MW.

The construction of wind power farms was assumed to grow intensely after the feed-in tariff for wind power was introduced in Finland in the spring of 2011, but the recession and, for example, problems concerning land use have delayed the beginning of the building boom. Now, however, the stalemate is becoming unravelled and many of the planned projects are proceeding. In October 2012, there were wind power plant projects totalling 8,900 MW under way in this country. Of these, roughly 3,000 MW were offshore projects.


Instead of the problems involved in wind power, which have been widely discussed in Finland, we can now begin to consider the great benefits their construction will bring to the areas involved.


“Wind power farms bring employment to the area both during their construction and their subsequent maintenance. According to estimates, the majority of the money spent on building the roads and foundations for a wind power farm, and on various workforce services and maintenance, remains in the farm’s catchment area. The 2,500 MW worth of wind power construction planned for the next few years in Finland translates as 12,000–20,000 person-workyears,” says Anni Mikkonen, Executive Director of the Finnish Wind Power Association.


The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries calculated in 2008 that the employment effect of constructing a 100 MW wind power farm in Finland totals 1,180 person-workyears. Most of this is for the use and maintenance work required during the farm’s 20 years of operating life.


If a wind power plant built in Finland utilises Finnish technology, the employment effects grow. According to Mikkonen, many products used by foreign wind power manufacturers also utilise Finnish technology, because Finland produces a lot of wind power components.