The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy has on 18 June 2015 circulated a draft Government Bill amending the Act on Production Subsidy for Electricity Produced from Renewable Energy Sources (1396/2010) for comments (deadline 30 July 2015). Contrary to what was presented in the Strategic Government Programme launched by the Finnish Government on 27 May 2015, the draft Bill does not propose any changes to the maximum capacity limit of 2,500 MVA that currently applies to the feed-in tariff quota for wind power plants that will be accepted into the feed-in tariff scheme. Moreover, the draft Bill does not include any amendments to the production subsidy for electricity produced by wind power plants accepted into the feed-in tariff scheme.
Instead, the aim of the draft Bill is a controlled closedown of the feed-in tariff scheme for wind power plants. This because the currently applicable 2,500 MVA maximum capacity is, in practice, already reserved due to the large amount of recent tariff quota decision applications to the Finnish Energy Authority (please see the following link for an up-to-date overview of the currently reserved share of the 2,500 MVA maximum capacity, including pending applications: https://tuotantotuki.emvi.fi/QuotaCounter).
According to the draft Bill, a valid tariff quota decision is required in order for a wind power plant to be accepted into the feed-in tariff scheme. Such decisions would no longer be granted once the aggregate nominal output of projects accepted into the feed-in tariff scheme and projects granted a tariff quota decision exceeds the limit of 2,500 MVA for the first time. Moreover, producers of electricity would no longer have to file written notifications with the Energy Authority in advance regarding decisions to build wind, biogas or wood fuel power plants. This would decrease the administrative burden of potential investors and indirectly improve the investment conditions.
A tariff quota decision will be valid no longer than until November 2017, with the exception of offshore demonstration wind power plants that have received investment aid; such decisions would be valid until November 2018. If a project would not be executed within the applicable time frame, no more capacity would be released from the total quota.
Since production subsidy may only be granted for a period of maximum 12 years, such subsidy would no longer be granted after 2030. The preparation of a new subsidy scheme based on the Strategic Government Programme will begin in autumn 2015.
According to the draft Bill, the relevant amendments are set to enter into force during autumn 2015.
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