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

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

Estonia vulnerable to gas supply disruptions

A European Commission “stress test” report says that if Russia were to completely halt gas imports to the EU, more gas will continue to be delivered to homes and companies – if member states cooperate – even in the case of a prolonged six-month disruption. Estonia, however, is among the most vulnerable EU member states.

The report published on Thursday presents the results of a modeling exercise conducted by 38 European countries, including EU member states and neighboring countries. It analyzes different scenarios, in particular a complete halt of Russian gas imports into the EU for a period of six months.

A prolonged supply disruption would have a substantial impact in the EU, with member states in the East and the Energy Community countries (mostly located in Southeast Europe) being affected the most.

Finland, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia would miss at least 60 percent of the gas they need. This means that even private households could be left out in the cold.

Read more from ERR News

Estonian oil shale sector to become more eco-friendly

After late-night talks in Brussels yesterday, the leaders of the European Union Member States agreed on the European Union maintaining its ambitious environmental objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, increasing the share of renewable energy to 27% and increasing energy efficiency by 27%.
“These objectives take into account the needs of local people in maintaining their environment and health; are ambitious enough to make Europe globally competitive in rapidly growing green sectors, and give the European Union a strong position for the upcoming international climate negotiations in December. The agreement is realistic and considers the adaptation needs of enterprises as well as the characteristics of Member States, including helping poorer Member States in making the necessary investments,” Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said.
In the view of the Minister of the Environment, the most important aspect for Estonia is that countries are given the option of deciding on the way the target is reached. “We have proved that we can successfully manage it: Estonia has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by half in a little over 20 years, having doubled the economy in the meantime. The share of renewable energy in Estonia today is already at 25%, close to the 2030 target of the EU,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.
“The fact that the European Council gave more certainty in the context of using oil shale in a more environmentally friendly way is also important for us. For Estonia, the production of oil shale is less polluting and emits less greenhouse gases than the incineration of oil shale and therefore directly supports reaching the ambitious climate goals. The opportunity of producing it for the European Union market is an important way of making our extremely environmentally burdensome sector less polluting. Compared to electricity production, the carbon footprint of fuel production per energy unit is twice as small, less polluting, and uses less water,” the Minister of the Environment explained.
Source: Estonian Ministry of the Environment

EU says no to joint Estonian-Finnish LNG terminal project

EU has rejected the proposal to finance the development of joint LNG terminal projects proposed by the Estonian company Alexela Energia and Finland’s Gasum Oy, writes Eesti Päevaleht.

The EU did not agree to cover the extra costs that carrying out the project jointly with Gasum would have entailed and this is why the cooperation plan failed.

However, Alexela said it will go on with LNG terminal plan also without EU support , but this means completion of the terminal will be postponed.

Read more from BBN

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