Wind Power

There is not much knowledge about how wind power effects on reindeer and reindeer herding in Finland. The Olos wind farms are located to the tourist centres in Muonio and in Enontekiö. There are only three minor wind turbines in Lammasoaivi. Varevaara wind farm in Tervola is near to the Road 4, as are the wind turbines in Simo. Several wind farm projects are being planned around the reindeer husbandry area and in the near future we will have more information about the influence it has on reindeer.

Research made on Sweden with GPS-tracking and reindeer droppings show signs of the reactions. Reindeer strive to avoid the wind farm areas during the building and operating time. Reindeer are particularly sensitive for disturbances during the calving period. However, there are also other things that influence on the reindeer behaviour such as other existing infrastructure and disturbances, type of the pasture area and the availability of other pasture areas.

The behaviour in the calving areas and routes of the reindeer can change due to wind farms. Hence, evaluating the usage of pasture areas in relation to the wind farm is one of the central things when assessing the effects of wind farms. Wind farm projects need to be looked into case by case. From the beginning, it needs to be clarified what kind of effects there are and can they be diminished through planning. Using the GPS-tracking before the project, during the building and operating time will increase the knowledge on reactions reindeer have.

In the end of 2014, there were 260 wind farms operating in Finland. Their total capacity was 627 MW. They produced around 1.3 % of the electricity, consumed in Finland (Suomen Tuulivoimayhdistys ry). The wind farm projects are part of the long term climate and energy package of Ministry of Labour. The aim of it is to increase the total capacity of wind power on 2 500 MW by 2020.

Environmental Impact Assessment is not required from all wind farm plans in the reindeer husbandry area. Smaller projects can be done with zoning. Still, the effects have to be estimated and taken into account from the very beginning of the project.

The least harmful wind farm for the nature and reindeer herding are the ones build to an area where there are already infrastructure.


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