Renewable energy production drops 6 percent in 2016 ({{commentsTotal}})

An Eesti Energia-owned wind farm in Narva.
An Eesti Energia-owned wind farm in Narva. Source: (Peeter Langovits/Postimees/Scanpix)

A total of 1,412 gigawatt-hours of electricity were produced from renewable sources in 2016, a 6 percent drop compared to the previous year.

Renewable energy accounted for 15.1 percent of the total consumption of electric energy in Estonia in 2016, compared to 16.7 percent in 2015, transmission system operator Elering spokesperson Ain Köster told ERR’s online news portal.

Estonia’s goal is to increase renewable energy’s share of total consumption of electric energy to 17.6 percent by 2020; the interim goal set for 2016 had been 13.2 percent.

Renewable energy made up 17.9 percent of Estonia’s total consumption in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to 17.8 percent during the same period in 2015.

Compared to the previous year, the amount of renewable energy on which support was paid last year declined by 4 percent to 1,203 gigawatt-hours.

A total of 55.6 percent of renewable energy in Estonia was produced from biomass, biogas and waste in 2016, from which 785 gigawatt-hours of electricity was produced — nearly as much as in 2015.

Wind energy accounted for 41.7 percent of overall production in 2016; wind power stations produced 589 gigawatt-hours of electricity, a 15-percent drop compared to the previous year. As a result, unlike in 2015, the annual 600 gigawatt-hour cap for wind energy eligible for subsidization was not reached last year.

The country’s hydro energy output totaled 35 gigawatt-hours last year.

Just as in 2015, the biggest year-over-year growth was recorded in solar energy, whose output doubled to nearly 3 gigawatt-hours. Subsidies also increased accordingly, totaling over 149,000. While these subsidies make up only a marginal portion of total renewable energy subsidies, the number of solar panel owners receiving subsidies increased by over 200 to nearly 700 in 2016.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla