Eesti Energia starts synchronization of Auvere power plant

Construction of a new 300 megawatt power plant at Auvere has reached the point where the plant will be synchronized with the Estonian power grid and the first amount of electric energy provided to the grid, Eesti Energia, the state-owned power group that owns the plant, said.

“If everything goes as planned, electricity produced at the Auvere power plant will reach the grid for the first time in spring this year. Right now the plant’s principal equipment is being fine-tuned and various systems of the generating unit tested,” Eesti Energia spokesperson Eliis Vennik said, adding that given the time consuming nature of the things to be done work to launch the plant is estimated to continue until the end of the year.

The 300 megawatt power plant will run on oil shale, which can be substituted with biofuel up to a ratio of half and half. The testing period, during which output capacity will remain in the range of 0 to 270 megawatts, will last until Nov. 5.

The plant is being built by Alstom and the total cost of the project is 640 million euros.

Source: BNS via Estonian Review

Renewable energy made is 15 pct of the Estonian energy pie

Renewable energy made up 14.8 percent of the Estonian energy pie last year, which is 2.2 percent more than in 2013.

Estonia is on track for meeting its obligation of 17.6 percent renewable energy slice by 2020.

Although domestic production fell by close to 6 percent in 2014, 1.38 terawatt-hours were generated from renewable sources – 18 percent more than in 2013.

The quantity of subsidized renewable power reached 1.1 terawatt-hours last year, which meant a 12 percent increase in the pay-outs, to 60 million euros.

Fifty-six percent of the renewable energy output came from biomass, biogas and waste – 753 GWh came from these sources, up by about a quarter. The subsidies for this amount equalled 32.3 million euros, up 2.2 million euros from the year before.

Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of renewables in 2014, and output was up 9 percent compared to 2013. Average wind speed readings at Pakri and Virtsu were up 23 percent. As a result, subsidies increased by 20 percent to 26.3 million euros.

The ceiling for subsidized wind energy in the Electricity Markets Act – 600 GWh in a calendar year – was not reached, however.

The biggest growth compared to 2013 was in solar energy – volume of energy generated grew from 117 MWh to 524 MWh, with subsidies increasing at the same time more than quadruple rate, amounting to 28,000 euros. Solar energy still makes up a marginal amount of the overall energy picture, of course, with most of the 175 producers being micro-producers.

Source: ERR News via Estonian Review

Estonia’s 2016-2030 oil shale development plan

The draft of the Estonian national oil shale development plan for 2016-2030 says oil shale mining in Estonia will remain capped at 20 million tons per year and it will be necessary to set up one or two new mines during the years covered by the development plan.

The list of mineral deposits in the Estonian Environment Register shows the size of oil shale stocks at 4.75 billion tons of which active stocks amount to 1.34 billion tons. Leaving aside areas currently covered by restrictions, active stocks will suffice for roughly 48 years if the annual extraction limit is left at 20 million tons, the Environment Ministry said.

The development plan names effective and sustainable use of oil shale as a mineral deposit important for Estonia and reducing the sector’s environmental impact as paramount. Another objective set out in the development plan is ensuring the oil shale sector’s sustainable development and supply of oil shale considering economic, security and social goals, the ministry said.

Implementation of the development plan is estimated to cost 20 million euros. It will be implemented based on an operational program that will be initially drafted for the years 2016–2019. The estimated cost of its measures is 3.5 million euros. Performance against the goals of the development plan will be analyzed after each five-year period to take account of changes in technologies, market situation, environmental requirements and the revealed environmental impact.

Source: Baltic News Service through Estonian Review

EU allows producing diesel from oil shale

The European Parliament on Wednesday did not support a resolution relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels, meaning that the situation remains favourable for producing motor fuel from oil shale in Estonia.

“The European Parliament narrowly did not adopt the fuel quality resolution. Hence the situation favourable for Estonia will prevail,” Estonian MEP Urmas Paet said on social media.

In his remarks released earlier on Wednesday, Estonia’s Environment Minister Mati Raidma said the fuel directive being handled by the European Parliament was suitable for Estonia in its present form and would mean that motor fuels made from oil shale will be competitive in the European Union in the future.

The fuel quality directive in its present form would treat motor fuels as equal regardless of whether they have been produced from crude oil or oil shale. “Estonia has been a strong supporter of that line, it’s important for us to get an assurance that producing oil shale fuel from oil shale, which is significantly more environment friendly than producing electricity from oil shale, is acceptable for the EU market. So that it was legal and possible to sell that fuel in European Union member states,” Raidma said.

The resolution voted down by the European Parliament on Wednesday opposed the adoption of the draft Council directive as not compatible with the declared aim of the directive and called on the Commission to withdraw the draft Council directive and to submit a new one to the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Source: BNS through Estonian Review

Balticconnector pipeline to cost Estonia 25 MEUR

Considering that own investment in the Balticconnector pipeline will be divided in equal parts between Finland and Estonia, Estonia’s share of the cost will come to around 25 million euros.

“The construction of Balticconnector will be 75 percent financed by the Connecting Europe Facility and the remaining 25 percent will be put up equally by Estonia and Finland,” head of the Estonian government’s communication office Tiina Ansip told BNS.

The undersea pipeline connecting the Estonian and Finnish natural gas networks scheduled to be completed by 2019 is estimated to cost 200 million euros to build.

The prime ministers of Estonia and Finland, Taavi Roivas and Alexander Stubb, reached an agreement on Monday that a regional liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will be built in Finland and the two countries will together proceed with the Balticconnector project.

Balticconnector would link gas markets of the two countries and give the Finnish gas company Gasum access to the Incukalns underground storage facility in Latvia. Once a regional LNG terminal was built in Finland the pipeline would also give Estonia access to the terminal.

Source: BNS via Estonian Review

Rõivas and Stubb agree to build two LNG terminals

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and his Finnish counterpart, Alexander Stubb, reached an agreement on Monday to build two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, connected by a pipeline, in both countries by 2019.

The project is called ‘Balticconnector’, and if it succeeds, it would increase the energy diversification of the two nations, in light of the unpredictable behavior by Russia, currently the main gas provider for both countries. The project is likely to get financial support from the European Union.

The plans include the construction of a large-scale LNG terminal in Finland, which would then provide liquefied natural gas to users in the region at competitive prices. The Balticconnector pipeline would link gas markets in Finland and Estonia. A small-scale LNG terminal would be built in Estonia for distribution of gas and security of supply. According to the plan, the development of gas infrastructure in the Baltic region would enable Finland and the Baltic states to access the underground gas storage in Latvia, as well.

The prime ministers agreed that Finland and Estonia will implement the LNG projects as soon as it is technically and economically feasible to do so, but the aim is to have the Balticconnector pipeline up and running in 2019. It was also agreed that the terminal may be built in Estonia in case that its implementation has not proceeded sufficiently by the end of 2016.

Rõivas told ETV news program “Aktuaalne Kaamera” that despite the fact that the original aim was to achieve the building of large-scale LNG terminal in Estonia, he is content to have reached an agreement.

“Let’s start with the fact that Estonia will get its own terminal. True, not the regional one, but one which ensures energy security. Also, if the Finnish government for some reason will not proceed with the plans for the regional terminal by the end of 2016, it could be built in Estonia. From our point of view, it was important to move forward, after three years of negotiations that went nowhere,” Rõivas said.

Estonian daily Postimees went as far as to call the agreement a “fiasco”. ETV also cited the fact that the small supply terminal would still be relying on Finland, itself supplied by Russia’s Gazprom, rather than functioning as an independent energy storage.

But the Prime Minister disagreed, and called it a “triumph” instead.

”To have a pipeline will decrease the Estonian and Baltic dependence on Russian gas, because it is not possible to ‘switch off’ the supply on technical or political reasons. That is a step forward for us,” Rõivas said.

The Finnish government also presented the agreement as a win for the country.

“I am very satisfied that we have reached an agreement. With the implementation of the planned measures, Finland will become integrated into the European gas network and be able to improve the country’s gas-based energy security,” Stubb said.

Together with the two terminals, the total cost of the project is projected at around 500 million euros.

Source: ERR News via Estonian Review

October consumer price index was influenced the most by electricity

According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the consumer price index in October 2014 was 0.0% compared to September 2014 and -0.2% compared to October of the previous year.

Compared to October 2013, goods were 0.1% and services 0.5% cheaper.

Regulated prices of goods and services have risen by 0.2% and non-regulated prices have fallen by 0.4% compared to October of the previous year.

Compared to October 2013, the consumer price index was influenced the most by electricity, heat energy and fuels, whereas the electricity that arrived at homes was 7.6% and heat energy 2.6% cheaper. 3.3% more expensive alcoholic beverages and 7.2% more expensive tobacco also had a bigger impact on the index. Motor fuel was 2.8% cheaper than in October of the previous year. Compared to October 2013, of food products, the prices of dried fruit and nuts have increased the most (17%) and the prices of sugar, apples and potatoes have decreased the most (41%, 25% and 19%, respectively).

In October compared to September, the consumer price index was mainly influenced by 9.2% cheaper fresh fruit and 20.8% more expensive plane tickets. Compared to September, of food products, the prices of hazelnuts increased the most (14%) and the prices of lemons, carrots and onions decreased the most (33%, 22% and 18%, respectively).

Change of the consumer price index by commodity groups, October 2014
Commodity group October 2013 –
October 2014, %
September 2014 –
October 2014, %
TOTAL -0.2 0.0
Food and non-alcoholic beverages -0.4 -0.4
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 4.4 0.6
Clothing and footwear 1.1 0.5
Housing -2.2 -0.5
Household goods 1.1 0.2
Health 2.8 0.0
Transport -1.6 0.4
Communications -3.8 1.0
Recreation and culture 1.6 0.0
Education -21.9 0.0
Hotels, cafés and restaurants 4.3 -1.1
Miscellaneous goods and services 2.7 0.7

Source: Statistics Estonia


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