Eesti Energia: Renewable electricity generation levels behind record prices

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An Eesti Energia-owned wind turbine at Virtsu, Lääne County. Source: Eesti Energia

Low renewables output and a rise in demand are behind the current, record levels of electricity prices in Estonia, among other factors, state-owned Eesti Energia says.

Spokesperson for the company Reimo Raja said that: "The prices are being driven up by low levels of renewable energy production, high CO2 quota prices and high natural gas prices.

"The heat wave that has hit Europe has increased the demand for electricity consumption," he went on.

While it might seem counter-intuitive, a heatwave can lead to increased demand due to high use of air con systems, fans etc., while, Raja said, this had not been anticipated. "During summer, generation facilities are usually being serviced in advance of the periods when electricity demand is actually high. This means that [current] supply is somewhat lower than usual."

Nonetheless, in June, generation outstripped demand.

Average average electricity price on Wednesday reached €108.47 per megawatt-hour, and, Raja said, there will be no significant price falls on the horizon, due to natural gas and CO2 prices remaining high – though a small fall is projected for Thursday, to €102.78 per megawatt-hour, ERR reports.

Oil shale power plants are on the market and producing today, but due to the high CO2 price, they do not make a big profit from oil shale electricity production," Raja said.

Increased investment in carbon-neutral energy production is the only long-term measure which can help stave off high prices, he added, noting that Eesti Energia does this.

"We plan to boost the volume of renewable energy production assets 2.5 times by 2025, and we will stop producing electricity from oil shale in 2035 at the latest. We are to build solar parks and onshore and offshore wind farms too," he said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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