Renewables made up nearly third of all energy consumption in second quarter

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Wind turbine at Aidu Wind Park in Ida-Viru county. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

The share of renewable electricity in Estonia's total electricity consumption was 28.9 percent in the second quarter of this year, up from 24.7 percent in the same three-month period in 2020, the country's transmission system operator Elering said on Monday.

In the second quarter, Estonian power plants produced 602 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity, 23 percent more than in the same period last year. Electricity produced from renewable sources accounted for almost half of Estonia's electricity production and almost a third of consumption.

According to Elering, the renewable electricity production statistics were affected by a slight reduction in wind power generation in the second quarter, as well as an increase in biomass, waste and solar power production. Wind energy accounted for 23 percent of total renewable energy production in the second quarter. The 141 gigawatt-hours of wind energy produced is 13 percent less than the amount produced last year.

Between April and June this year, producers received a total of €23 million in subsidies for renewable electricity, 7 percent less than during the same period last year. In the second quarter, 78 percent of total wind production received subsidies, with the sum total of subsidies reaching €6 million.

During the second quarter of the year, subsidies for 43 percent of the annual limit of 600 gigawatt-hours of subsidized wind power have been paid out, and Elering does not expect the 600-GWh cap to be reached this year.

Electricity produced from biomass, biogas and waste accounted for 54 percent of renewable energy production in the three-month period. From April to June, 325 gigawatt-hours of electricity was produced from these fuels and subsidies in the amount of almost €10 million were paid out, which marks a downward trend compared to the same period last year.

The amount of hydroenergy produced in the three months, just like in the first quarter of the year, was 9 gigawatt-hours, and the subsidy for that item amounted to €197,152.

The number of owners of solar panels receiving a subsidy keeps growing rapidly in Estonia, Elering said. In the second quarter of this year, the amount of electricity produced by solar panels and supplied to the grid was 126.5 gigawatt-hours, and more than €6.5 million in subsidy for electricity produced from solar energy and supplied to the grid was paid out. 

Due to greater numbers of solar panels and very sunny summer months, this figure has practically tripled in year-to-year comparison. In the second quarter of last year, only 50 gigawatt-hours of solar electricity was produced in Estonia. Thus, this year, 21 percent of Estonia's renewable energy production in the second quarter came from the sun.

Slightly over €800,000 was paid out in high-efficiency cogeneration support in the second quarter of the year, 10 percent more than in the same period last year. In total 25 gigawatt-hours of electricity was produced by means of high-efficiency cogeneration.

The subsidies for renewable energy and high-efficiency cogeneration are financed by electricity consumers through the renewable energy charge. During the first quarter, Elering collected €48.8 million in the levy and paid out €48.1 million in subsidies.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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