With its location in the middle of the sea, awash in salty sea winds, the most hours of sunlight in the Nordic countries and a deep love of nature, it’s no wonder that Åland has set its sights on a future with power from nature’s own green energy. Preferably on the cutting edge with a large dose of innovation.
Åland’s 6,700 islands are clustered in the middle of the Baltic Sea, offering a cultural fusion of Sweden and Finland. Åland has one city, Mariehamn, and a living, breathing countryside and archipelago.
For the past 100 years, Åland has been an autonomous region in Finland. This means that Ålanders can form a society that meets their own needs and conditions.
Its close proximity to the sea has influenced Åland in many ways. This gave rise to shipping, an industry that laid the foundation for today’s economy and took Ålanders all over the world. They have sailed the seven seas and returned with new ideas and, in many cases, the money to realise them and a drive that is typical of these wilful islanders.
Ålanders are used to keeping their end up, having faith in their own abilities and making the most of what they have. The result is a strong entrepreneurial spirit, with 2,800 registered businesses in a population of 30,000.
Innovation and sustainability
In Åland, traditions and modern approaches go hand in hand. Boats are built and Midsummer wreaths are woven while high technology companies serve customers all over the world as well as in the cloud. Here, two worlds come together in a very small space.
Ålanders cherish their resources and consider nature and sustainability to be invaluable. In combination with innovation, Åland’s aspiration is to become a pioneer in green energy in the Nordic countries. Wind power already accounts for 90% of Ålands electricity production. The move toward even greater production of renewable energy through large-scale solar power farms and offshore wind farms is already well underway.
In general, the climate here is mild and the summers are usually sunny. Åland is said to have the most hours of sunshine in the Nordic countries from May to August. And, even if it tends to be a bit windy – often from the southwest – the winds are warm.