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%|
- Renewable Energy Represents 17.3 per cent of Total Electricity Consumption in First Quarter 24.04.2015
- Renewable Energy Totals 14.8 per cent of Total Electricity Consumption in 2014 03.02.2015
- Next Year the Renewable Energy Charge will be 0.89 Cents per Kilowatt-Hour 05.12.2014
- Renewable Energy Made Up 13.5% of Total Power Consumption in Second Quarter 29.07.2014
- Renewable Energy Formed 12.6% of Last Year’s Total Electricity Consumption 03.02.2014
- Renewable Energy Grows to Nearly 15% of Total Consumption Last Year 30.01.2013
- Renewable Energy Charge at 0.87 Cents per Kilowatt-Hour in 2013 03.12.2012
- Renewable Energy Accounts for 13.5% of Total Q3 Consumption 05.11.2012
- Renewable Energy Made Up 20.4 % of Estonian Electricity Consumption in the Second Quarter 27.07.2012
- Renewable Energy Makes Up 16% of Estonian Power Consumption 24.04.2012