Estonia's climate minister, Elering CEO speak in discussion on future of energy in parlt

  • 2024-03-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Climate Minister Kristen Michal and Elering CEO Kalle Kilk were among the speakers at a debate on the future of Estonia's energy sector held in the Riigikogu as discussion of a matter of significant national importance at the initiative of the Reform Party on Thursday. 

The climate minister said that Estonia's wind power capacity has been increasing and will continue to increase going forward. Wind generating capacity grew by a third in 2023, it will double by the end of 2024, and by the end of 2025, it will triple. The goal is to cover 100 percent of Estonia's total electricity consumption with renewable sources.

"We have long discussed various possibilities with energy experts and stakeholders -- what the next development stage in Estonia would be," he said.

The minister noted that various options have been considered, including a discussion held on a technology-neutral auction for six terawatt-hours, which is also included in the coalition agreement, where it was assumed that it would also include an offshore wind farm.

"If we compare it to today's plan, then today's plan, where we are now, is more favorable for consumers. And indeed, it is important to point out that a smaller volume can even be more expensive for the consumer if the entire amount produced is paid for and a separate price guarantee for storage is added to it. The current decision that the Cabinet has made is for a larger volume, but there is a clause in it that there will be no separate price guarantee for storage, as it takes into account the electricity consumed within the country," he explained.

Kalle Kilk, CEO of the state-owned transmission system operator Elering, talked about the challenges for the energy sector in the near and long term. According to Kilk, our grid today is able to link up large industries on a pretty significant scale. And we have a grid at this point to which more of exporting industry can be linked up on a pretty large scale without major problems -- somewhere between 40 and 50 percent is not a problem with today's grid, he said. 

According to Kilk, it is clearly part of our future plans that Estonia should become an electricity exporting nation.

"And in that case, it is crucial for us that at those times when we have something to export, we also have a market available so that it will bring us additional revenue. And at those times when we have nothing to export, then we can import from where the price is most favorable across Europe," he said.

"So, in 10 plus years, in addition to meeting increased demand in Estonia, we also want to create the capability for electricity producers here to find larger markets for themselves," the Elering CEO added.