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Alternatives to Russian gas are question of political will – head of Estonian energy body

Estonian news, International News - Tuul March 26, 2014

Baltic News Service, 26.03.2014

Vigorous search for alternatives to Russian natural gas and oil is a matter of political will and in this Sweden which basically makes do without natural gas could serve as an example, head of the Estonian Renewable Energy Association Rene Tammist says.

“In recent weeks the international community has been analyzing the possibility and impact of economic sanctions against Russia. Several analysts have pointed at Russia’s great dependence on oil and gas revenues. A vigorous search for alternatives to Russian gas and oil is a question of political will. One of the countries in our neighborhood, Sweden, is basically getting by without natural gas,” Tammist said.

He said that Sweden laid the groundwork for fundamental reorganizations in the energy sphere after the oil crisis around four decades ago. Nowadays 45 percent of electric energy in Sweden is produced from hydro power and nuclear power plays a significant but diminishing part. Wind energy production is growing fast and a remarkable part is played by bioenergy.

“The Swedish example is both inspiring and pointing the way,” Tammist said. “Domestic and clean production of electricity has created new jobs and reduced dependence on the import of energy sources. We can learn from Sweden. What’s more, we can in cooperation with Sweden and other European Union neighbors reduce dependence on Russia and significantly improve Estonia’s energy security.”


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