Prime minister: Wood-burning at Narva power stations needs to stop

Enefit oil-shale burning power station at Auvere, just west of Narva.
Enefit oil-shale burning power station at Auvere, just west of Narva. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says that the use of wood as a fuel at power stations in the eastern Estonian town of Narva needs to stop. The practice may otherwise see growth, as a result of a draft amendment to legislation put in place by the previous administration.

Responding to a question from MP Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE), Kallas said that "I do not consider burning wood at these power stations the right thing; it is not good from the point of view of the Estonian forest ... [or] Estonian nature. It is basically not right, it does not serve the purpose that the use of renewable energy sources should serve."

The topic was on the table during coalition negotiations with the Center Party, Kallas added.

Solutions would be looked at, she said. The new coalition has also set in place a plan to phase out the burning of oil shale, which not only fuels power stations but has a by-product in the form of oil used in several different industrial applications.

"We are looking for a solution that is cleaner and more environmentally friendly," Kallas added.

Renewables used and being developed in Estonia include wind farms and even solar power. Nuclear power has also been touted as a possible alternative, albeit over a much longer time-frame.

Residual heat generated from power plants in Narva is in itself used to heat domestic houses locally and at a lower cost.

Jevgeni Ossinovski also referred to a draft amendment to legislation which the previous Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition initiated, which would have allowed existing producers the right to compete in renewables-related tenders, whereas up to now only installations which had not previously generated power were eligible to apply.

The amendment was put in place as an incentive for existing producers to make the switch to renewables and away from fossil fuels. However, the upshot from this included the increased use of wood and other biomass fuels, the very thing Kallas wants to curb.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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