Share of renewable energy up

Energy output from renewable sources was 12.9% last year, according to figures released by the transmission system operator Elering – a 3.2 percentage point increase from a year ago and over double the 2009 level. Electricity made from waste and biomass led all renewable sources.

The renewable energy output was 1160 gigawatt hours as of the end of 2011 and the absolute figure was 35% higher than at the end of 2010, mainly due to greater biomass, biogas and wind power generation. The breakdown was 66% from waste and biomass, 31% from wind, and 3% from hydroelectric sources. Of the total, 1066 gigawatt hours was covered by subsidies, representing a 40% increase in the subsidised renewable energy volume. Subsidies disbursed totalled 57.2 million euros.

Although Elering director Taavi Veskimägi said he welcomes the rapid growth of generation from renewable sources, he stressed the need to review the subsidy schemes – ideally by 1 January 2013, when the fixed prices of power for home consumers are abolished. He said it would be “proportional toward the justified expectations of producers and consumers” for producers to essentially hand back to consumers some of the extra revenue they will stand to make when prices are no longer artificially low in 2013.

“The whole burden of increasing energy costs cannot be placed on consumers. Today consumers pay close to 10 % of their invoice on renewable energy fees,” said Veskimägi. “Considering the current renewable energy figures, the set national renewable energy goals can be achieved in a manner much less burdensome for consumers.”

Source: Estonian Review

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