Renewable energy covered one quarter of consumption in the first quarter of the year
In the first quarter, Estonian power plants produced 645 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy – three percent more than during the same period in the last year. Electricity produced from renewable sources formed a third of Estonian electricity production and covered a quarter of total consumption during the period.
While the proportion of renewable energy compared to the total consumption of electricity was 25.5 percent in the first quarter of the year, the indicator stood at 23.3 percent in the same period in 2021. The production of renewable energy was affected by the increase in the production of wind power in the first quarter, but the volume of electricity produced from non-renewable energy in cogeneration that increased due to cold weather decreased the proportion of production.
Wind energy made up 35 percent of the total production of renewable energy in Q1. The 226 gigawatt-hours of wind energy produced is a 23 percent increase compared to the previous year. In the first quarter, 71 percent of wind energy output was subsidised, totalling 8.5 million euros. In the first three months of the year, payments have therefore been made to the extent of 26.5 percent of the maximum limit amount of 600 gigawatt-hours of wind energy to be subsidised in the year.
Electricity produced from biomass, biogas and waste made up 53.5 percent of the production of renewable energy in the first three months of the year. 345 gigawatt-hours of electricity was produced from these types of fuel from January to March, which is 17 percent less compared to the same period last year. 11 million euros of subsidies were paid for the production received from these types of fuel, which is 30 percent less compared to the same period last year.
The production of hydropower amounted to a total of 10 gigawatt-hours in the first quarter of the year and 109,308 euros of subsidies were paid.
The number of solar generating installations receiving subsidies is constantly growing. The volume of electricity generated thanks to solar panels and distributed to the network in the first quarter this year was 64.5 gigawatt-hours, and more than 3.2 million euros were paid in subsidies for electricity produced and distributed to the network thanks to solar power.
Thanks to the addition of new solar panels, the production of solar power in the first quarter has increased by 2.5 times year-over-year. Additionally, a record in the production of solar power was registered on 27 March from 1 pm to 2 pm when 340 megawatt-hours of electricity were distributed to the network within one hour. Over 12,000 generating installations of solar power have been registered in the renewable energy information system administered by Elering with a combined capacity of 453 megawatts.
Producers received a total of 22.5 million euros in subsidies for renewable energy from January to March this year, which is seven percent less than in the same period last year. Efficient cogeneration subsidies were paid in the amount of slightly less than one million euros in Q1 this year, which is roughly the same as in the same period last year.
The renewable energy and efficient cogeneration subsidies are financed by power consumers through the renewable energy charge. Elering collected a total of 26 million euros of this charge in the first quarter. Detailed information concerning the renewable energy subsidy amounts is available in the Register of State Aid and De Minimis Aid administered by the Ministry of Finance.