Estonia profits from emissions’ reductions

  • 2011-10-26
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - The Estonian government last Friday entered into a cooperation memorandum with Mistubishi Corporation aimed at finding greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects in Estonia of interest to both sides and implementing technologically advanced solutions in the energy sector, reports LETA. The memorandum, signed by the Estonian Minister of Justice Kristen Michal and Mitsubishi Corporation Senior Vice President Akinobu Ogata, highlights energy efficient buildings, diversified generation of renewable energy, environmentally friendly transport and supply of energy to smaller islands as possible areas of cooperation.

A study will be conducted jointly to determine which projects in these fields are most suitable for implementation of the technically advanced solutions. Mitsubishi will help find project financing from the Japanese market in the framework of sale of assigned amount units.
In the words of the Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, who hosted the visitors from Japan at Stenbock House, the enhanced cooperation with Mitsubishi Corporation is a natural continuation of Estonia’s hitherto successful information technology development.

“On the one hand, smart solutions require good infrastructure, but the experience and original ideas from our specialists are just as important in finding unconventional answers to conventional problems. We have proved that our small size is not an obstacle and Estonia is increasingly seen as the best environment for implementing the pioneering solutions,” said Ansip.
Japan’s biggest conglomerate, the Mitsubishi Group, sees Estonia as a good partner where people are ready to embrace innovative solutions and this is seen as a competitive edge on the macroeconomic level as well.

Ogata named a number of reasons for continuing cooperation with Estonia in an even more intensified form. “Estonia has a responsible and efficient government, which we saw in conducting the recent carbon credit transaction. The government has shown a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in a very innovative way at that. You have the technical readiness to implement initiatives, which is underlined by the people’s high level of IT knowledge and awareness,” said Ogata.
He said that implementing smart solutions in the energy sector is an inevitable trend. “As we are making increasing use of renewable energy sources, we must come up with smart solutions to surmount the problems related to this field. Waste of energy in a society based on technically advanced energy solutions has been minimized. The electric car project helps us better understand the advantages of this mindset,” Ogata noted.

This March, the government decided to sell Mitsubishi its unused AAUs, in exchange for countrywide infrastructure for charging electric cars and a thousand electric cars. One part of the project involves an assistance scheme for purchasing electric cars where the state contributes up to 18,000 euros toward the price of such a vehicle. The introduction of electric cars on such a large scale directly supports achieving Estonia’s target of ten percent share of renewable energy in the transport sector by 2020.

Once the electric car program is implemented in full, Estonia will likely become one of the world’s most advanced countries in the field, with the highest coverage of car-charging stations and the highest number of electric cars per capita. The greater use of electric cars will also lessen Estonia’s dependence on imported automotive fuel.