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Renewable Energy

The Electricity Market Act defines renewable sources as water, wind, sun, waves, tidal energy, geothermal energy, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas, biogas and biomass. Electricity produced from these sources is classed as renewable energy.

The European Union, and Estonia as a member, have prioritised an increase in the share of renewable energy in production and consumption for several reasons. The most important of these is achieving a reduction in environmental pollution, and policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions are a part of this. There are also other important considerations with which higher production and consumption of renewable energy can help, such as energy saving, more efficient production and consumption, energy security, innovation in power engineering, and the promotion of technological development.

The potential for renewable energy in Estonia is strongest in wind power and bioenergy-based combined heat and power generation, and also in small-scale hydro-power.

Renewable energy is not an end in itself – it must be viewed in the context of the strategic choices of Estonia’s electricity generation industry. The development plan for the Estonian electricity sector outlines the following conditions for electricity generation:

  • The need to reduce environmental emissions from power generation;
  • The obligation taken when Estonia joined the EU to cut SO emissions from the power plants in Narva in 2012 and 2016;
  • The need for more sustainable use of oil shale reserves;
  • The aim of making Estonian electricity prices more competitive through carbon emissions trading.

Targets set in the development plan for the Estonian electricity sector, and actual results:

Target Target 2010 Actual 2010 Target 2015
Renewable electricity as a minimum share of gross consumption 5,1% 9,70% 15%