Renewables Offer Estonia Energy Independence

Country Overview

The European country of Republic of Estonia is bordered by Russia, Latvia, and the Baltic Sea. The population of the Estonia is approximately 1.32 million people.

Estonia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on August 20, 1991, Estonia became a member of the European Union (EU) in 2004.

In 2021, Estonia’s economy was ranked 73rd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of broadcasting equipment, coal tar oil, refined petroleum, cars, and prefabricated buildings.

Environmental Policies

In 2009, Estonia and other members of the European Union (EU) committed to the Renewable Energy Directive,” which requires each country to use renewable energy for 20% of its total energy needs by 2020 and 27% by 2030.

In 2016, Estonia and other members the EU signed the “Paris Climate Agreement. The EU committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in Estonia had access to electricity. In 2022, state-owned utility, Eesti Energia used oil (55.5%), renewable energy (44.5%), and natural gas (0.5%) to generate electricity in Estonia. Biomass, wind, and solar are the primary sources of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Estonia.

Recent renewable energy projects in Estonia include:

  • 550 MW Energy Storage Project – Estonian company, Energiasalv is continuing work on pumped hydro energy storage plant at a site approximately 30 miles west-southwest of the nation’s capital, Tallinn. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2029.
  • 161 MW Wind Project – Estonian renewable energy company, Enefit Green is continuing work on the Sopi Wind project at a site approximately 25 miles south of Tallinn. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
  • 74 MW Wind Project – Enefit Green is continuing work on the Tootsi wind project at a site approximately 70 miles south of Tallinn. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
  • 32 MW Solar Project – In June 2023, Enefit Green commissioned the Purtse Solar project at a site approximately 80 miles east of Tallin.
  • 21 MW Wind Project – In June 2023, Enefit Green commissioned the Purtse Wind project at a site approximately 80 miles east of Tallinn.
  • Offshore Wind Port – The port of Tallin is continuing work to build a wind port to support the construction and operation of offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea. The wind port is scheduled to be completed in September 2025.

Conclusions

In 1921, shale oil production began in the northeast region of Estonia. In 1924, Estonia began to use shale oil as fuel to generate the nation’s electricity.

In 2022, Estonia was the only country in the world that generated the majority of its electricity from shale oil. Approximately 90% of the nation’s shale oil is used to fuel the Estonian Thermal Power Station and the Baltic Thermal Power Station.

The cornerstone of Estonia’s energy policy is to never become dependent on imported Russian fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). Estonia plans to close all oil shale production by 2035 and generate 100% of the nation’s electricity from renewable energy.

Renewable energy is ensuring Estonia’s energy independence.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

 

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