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Renewable energy accounted for 13.2 pct of Estonia's electricity consumption in Q1

Estonian news - etea April 24, 2018

Baltic News Service. 24th of April, 2018

Renewable energy made up 13.2 percent of the total amount of electric energy consumed in Estonia in the first quarter of 2018, while altogether 375 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable energy was produced in the first three months of the year, the production of renewable energy decreased due to worse wind conditions.

In the first quarter of 2017, renewable energy equaled 15.8 percent of the total consumption whereas in 2016, it amounted to 13 percent of the total amount of electricity consumed in Estonia. Estonia’s target level for renewable energy for 2018 is 16.1 percent, the electricity transmission system operator Elering reported.

The decrease in the amount and share of renewable energy was caused foremost by a decrease in the volume of wind energy, which made up 38 percent of the total production of renewable energy in the first quarter and the 143 GWh produced is a quarter less compared to the first quarter of last year.

The wind energy subsidy paid out by Elering in the three months totaled 5.7 million euros, 19 percent less than at the same time last year. The subsidy was paid on 82 percent of the total amount of wind energy generated and during the quarter, 20 percent of the sum total earmarked for wind energy subsidies for the whole year was paid out.

In the first quarter 59 percent of the renewable electric energy produced in Estonia was produced from biomass, biogas and waste. In all 224 GWh of electricity was produced from these sources in the three months, the same amount as in the first quarter of 2017. Electricity produced from biomass, biogas and waste received 12 million euros in subsidies during the first quarter of 2018.

A total of 8 GWh of hydro energy was produced during the quarter and 206,000 euros was paid out in subsidies on hydro energy.

The number of subsidized solar panel owners is continuing to increase quickly and there are already over 1,200 producers of electric energy with solar panels, including both private persons and solar power stations owned by businesses. The amount of solar energy transferred to the grid in the three months totaled 0.9 GWh. Thanks to additional solar panels, this indicator has increased four-fold compared to last year.

Since most of the solar energy generated in Estonia is consumed by the micro-producers themselves, the amount actually generated with solar panels is estimated to be 4-5 times the amount qualifying for subsidy.

During the quarter, Elering paid high-efficiency cogeneration support in the amount of 1.6 million euros, a tenth more than in the same quarter of 2017. Altogether 52 GWh of electric energy was produced in the high-efficiency cogeneration regime.

Renewable energy subsidy and high-efficiency cogeneration support is financed by the electricity consumers through the renewable energy charge. During the quarter, Elering collected altogether 21.1 million euros of renewable energy charge and paid out 20.3 million euros in subsidies.

Estonia has set the goal to bring the share of renewable energy in total consumption to 17.6 percent by 2020.

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