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Electricity consumption in Estonia drops 2 pct in 2011

Estonian news - etea January 27, 2012

Baltic News Service, 27.01.2012

Total electricity consumption in Estonia amounted to 7.8 terawatt-hours in 2011, an amount 2 percent smaller than in the year before, the transmission system operator Elering said on Friday.

Estonia remains a major gross exporter of electricity, as the amount of electricity generated during the year exceeded consumption by 45 percent, it said.

Full-year electricity consumption declined year on year in all the Baltic and Nordic countries as a result of the warm winter. In Estonia the consumption of electricity, which had moved up in the years in-between, fell back to the level of 2006.

During the year 11.4 terawatt-hours of electricity was generated in Estonia, one percent more than in 2010. Amounts generated from oil shale declined by 2 percent or 0.2 terawatt-hours, whereas the amount generated using renewable sources grew by almost one-third or by 0.3 terawatt-hours, with the share of biomass fueled generation and wind energy increasing the most.

In 2011 the only countries in the Baltic and Nordic region generating more electric energy than they consumed were Estonia, Sweden and Norway. In the Baltic countries combined electricity production declined 7 percent year on year, the rates of decline being 11 percent in Latvia and 19 percent in Lithuania.

At the same time, there was no shortage of installed capacities in the Baltic countries in 2011. The aggregate net capacity of power generating units was 8.7 gigawatts, which would have allowed to cover the Baltics’ consumption needs.

In Latvia the decline was the result of reduced output by hydro power plants. The cascade of power plants on Daugava River produced 18 percent less electric energy than a year ago. In the 12 months domestic output covered 82 percent of Latvia’s consumption needs and deficit emerged at 1.2 terawatt-hours.

In Lithuania own generating output covered just 36 percent of consumption and deficit was 13 percent bigger than in 2010, mainly as a result of opportunities of import from third countries.

Electricity trade was influenced also by increased output of cheaper hydro power in the Nordic countries, Elering said. Estonia’s exports to Finland decreased the most, whereas the share of the electricity exported to Latvia and Lithuania grew 30 percent. Exports to Latvia accounted for 39 percent of Estonia’s total exports in 2011, exports to Finland for 33 percent and exports to Lithuania for 28 percent.

Of Estonia’s total imports import from Latvia made up 46 percent, import from Finland 31 percent and import from Lithuania 23 percent. Year on year, the amounts of electricity bought from Finland grew whereas the share of imports from Latvia moved down.

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