Estonian power plants get free emission credits

By a decision published on Wednesday, the European Commission approved the allocation of free carbon dioxide emission quotas to Estonian power plants during a transitional period to help modernise the sector. A similar transitional free allocation was endorsed for Cyprus.

The Commission concluded that certain provisions of Cyprus’s and Estonia’s development plans for the electricity sector allocating carbon emission trading allowances free of charge are in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission found that the funds granted, 371 million euros for Estonia and 194 million euros for Cyprus, will be used to modernise the production infrastructure, diversify the energy mix, and build new installations to replace capacity. This will contribute to liberalising energy markets, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the security of supply, which is in line with EU objectives, the Commission said.

According to information published earlier, the bulk of the free emission allowance in Estonia will go to the state-owned Eesti Energia, which is building a new power plant working on oil shale and biomass.

Source: Estonian Review

Labour cost per hour in EU countries

Among the Member States for which data are available for the first quarter of 2012, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs were registered in Estonia(+7.2 %), Bulgaria (+6.8 %), Austria(+5.3 %) and Romania (+5.2 %), and the lowest in Luxembourg (+0.9 %) and Cyprus (+1.0 %). Hourly labour costs decreased in Slovenia(-1.2 %) and remained stable in the United Kingdom compared with the first quarter of 2011.

Labor cost per hour in EURO area
















Labour cost per hour in the business economy – 2010 according to Eurostat

Estonian vs EU prices

In 2011, price levels for consumer goods and services1 differed widely across Member States.  Denmark (142% of the EU27 average) had the highest price level, followed by Sweden (128%), Finland (125%) and Luxembourg (122%). Price levels between 20% and 30% below the average were observed in Estonia (79%), Malta (78%), the Czech Republic (77%), Latvia (74%) and Slovakia (72%), and levels between 30% and 40% below in Lithuania (66%), Hungary (64%),  Poland and Romania (both 60%). The lowest price levels were found in Bulgaria (51%). These data come from a report2 published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. 

Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages3 in 2011 ranged from 67% of the EU27 average in Bulgaria to 136% of the average in Denmark. Differences in price levels between Member States were less for this product group than for total goods and services. Estonia 86

For alcoholic beverages and tobacco4, prices were lowest in Hungary (63% of the average) and highest in Ireland (163%). This large price variation is mainly due to differences in taxation of these products among Member States. Estonia 83

Clothing5 is one of the groups of products showing a smaller price variation among Member States, with Bulgaria (75% of the average) cheapest and Sweden (133%) most expensive. Estonia 101.

Consumer electronics6 is another group of products where prices differed less among Member States, ranging from 89% of the average in Poland to 125% in Malta. Estonia 100

Excluding Denmark (167% of the average), price differences among Member States were also limited for personal transport equipment, with levels varying from 83% of the average in Bulgaria to 122% in Portugal. Estonia 90

For restaurants and hotels, price variations were more significant, with price levels ranging from 45% of the average in Bulgaria to 154% of the average in Denmark. Estonia 74

See full table here: