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The European Union and Estonia, as a member, have prioritised increases in the share of renewable energy in production and consumption for several reasons. The most important of these is to achieve a reduction in environmental pollution.

There are also other important considerations that higher production and consumption of renewable energy can help with, such as energy savings, increased efficiency in production and consumption, energy security, innovation in power engineering, and the promotion of technological development.

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 until 2050 envisions that in electricity production, the economy will be supported through resource efficiency, including use of waste products from sources that are no longer feasible or possible elsewhere, and an increase in the share of fuel-free and other renewable energy sources for electricity production. To this end, subsidies for electricity production are exceptional and needs based to ensure critical production capacity and market mechanisms (including flexible cooperation mechanisms) are the main initiators of investment activity.

In addition, Estonia must ensure that 10% of the energy use in transport is derived from renewable sources by 2020 and a certain amount of that target is to be covered by biomethane. To promote the development of the biomethane market, a national support scheme has been made available for all biomethane producers in Estonia. Locally produced renewable fuels such as biomethane encourage sustainable development, energy independence and help reduce carbon emissions.

Estonia's strongest potential in renewable energya lies in bioenergy-based combined heat and power generation, in wind power and also the production of biomethane, which possesses qualities identical to natural gas and as such can be used as a replacement for natural gas. Small-scale hydro and solar power capacity are also being developed.

 
Target Target 2010 Actual 2010 Target 2020
Renewable electricity as a minimum share of gross consumption 5,1% 9,7% 17,6%

In order to cut environmental pollution, increase energy efficiency and security, and meet other goals, in spring 2016 the European Commission published a package of proposals (COM (2016) 767), called the “Winter Package”, for the previously issued directive for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources 2009/72/EC (the 3rd Energy Package), clarifying the specific long-term objectives for energy policy in the European Union:

  • Raising the share of renewable energy in total consumption to 27% by 2030
  • Raising energy efficiency to 30% by 2030
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030

Specific sectorial targets for renewable energy sources are set by the Estonian government and are published on the home page of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

 

In order to cut environmental pollution, increase energy efficiency and security, and meet other goals, in spring 2016 the European Commission published a package of proposals (COM (2016) 767), called the “Winter Package”, for the previously issued directive for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources 2009/72/EC (the 3rd Energy Package), clarifying the specific long-term objectives for energy policy in the European Union:

  • Raising the share of renewable energy in total consumption to 27% by 2030
  • Raising energy efficiency to 30% by 2030
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030

Specific sectorial targets for renewable energy sources are set by the Estonian government and are published on the home page of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

 

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