What can offshore wind power provide Åland?
Large-scale establishment of wind power on Åland's public waters will bring significant economic growth to Åland. The revenues generated will create opportunities that both the public and private sectors should seize to maximize societal benefits.
The establishment of offshore wind power would provide a new stable economic pillar for Åland.
Offshore wind power will generate revenues at various societal levels:
- The Government of Åland, as the manager of the public waters, will earn revenues through leasing rights and auction options.
- The five northern municipalities, where the energy areas are located, will receive property taxes from the wind turbines built within their respective municipal boundaries.
- The local business community will have income opportunities through the regional economic effects created by the establishment of wind farms.
By making Åland a leading player in renewable energy, there are excellent opportunities to increase the attractiveness of Åland.
New developments are needed in connection to establishing offshore wind farms, which in itself enhances Åland's appeal. Examples of these include:
- New logistics chains to meet the operational needs of offshore wind farms.
- New infrastructure for housing, services and communication.
- New initiatives in tourism and recreational activities.
It will create a significant number of new jobs, both during the construction and operation phases, as well as contracts for Åland-based companies.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published an annual report for 2022 on the impact of the renewable energy industry on the job market. The report evaluates employment trends and developments in the wind power industry. From 2020 to 2021, the number of people globally employed in the wind power industry increased from 1.25 million to 1.4 million. The increased employment primarily involves new positions in construction, installation, and operation through newly established wind farms.
With a high likelihood of this trend continuing, there will be job opportunities in the wind power industry in Åland.
The establishment of wind power provides opportunities for research and education.
In the fall of 2023, a new education program in wind power technology will start on Åland. By locally educating skilled professionals in this field, local employment opportunities can be created. Educational opportunities also enhance the attractiveness for young people to pursue their education on Åland.