Diversified Portfolio Should Be Long-Term Goal, Say Energy Officials

Mihkel Härm (left) and Ando Leppiman Photo: ERR
1/18/2012 12:21 PM
Category: Economy

The "big three" for Estonian energy are oil shale, wood and wind, say Estonian energy officials in painting a picture of a future where pragmatic considerations will shape the sector.

With discussion about the future energy set to begin today at a conference on updating the national energy strategy, World Energy Council Estonian committee secretary general Mihkel Härm and Economic Affairs Ministry undersecretary Ando Leppiman told ETV that relatively cheap oil shale, although frowned upon by the EU, will remain a top choice in a world hungry for energy.

The mineral is unlikely to run out by 2050, said Leppiman.

As to what advice he would give consumers beset by ever higher prices of energy, Härm said the most important thing is efficiency and conservation. 

"But the problem is that people have to make a large initial investment. And they have the hope that maybe the day after tomorrow energy will be so cheap that there is no point for them to make the investment." But Härm said in his view energy will not become cheaper.

Besides oil shale, biomass and wind, Härm called international connections a keyword. "If we look at neighboring countries, nuclear plants are certainly on the agenda in Finland and undoubtedly electricity based on natural gas will be imported from Russia," he said.

Leppiman said Estonia's strategy should be to keep all options open.

"Estonia, I believe, will continue its pragmatic policy of combining as many different energy sources and technologies for generating energy as possible, in the power, heat and other sectors," he said. "This will create a foundation, so that no matter what direction policy trends - leaning heavily toward the green side or if climate policy simply ends at some point - we would have as many alternatives as possible."


Kristopher Rikken

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