Kaljulaid leaves electricity amendments for new president to promulgate

An electricity pylon.
An electricity pylon. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

President Kersti Kaljulaid did not promulgate the Riigikogu-approved amendments to the Electricity Market Act before her term ran out on Monday. The amendments would allow for more woody biomass to be used in Narva power stations. Newly sworn-in president Alar Karis now has a week to decide if he will promulgate the amendments or send them back to the Riigikogu.

The Riigikogu approved amendments to the Electricity Market Act on September 29 and sent it to the president on October 4. The president has 14 days to decide if the law should be implemented or not. This means president Karis must make the decision by next Monday.

Presidents can reject laws approved in the Riigikogu and send them back for further discussions and decisions. The parliament can then either approve the unchanged law again, after which the president will promulgate it or they can go to the Supreme Court for a review of the constitutionality of the law.

The Riigikogu approved amendments to the act in the end of September and the change would allow for more woody biomass to be burned in Narva power stations.

Since the draft bill was initiated by the previous government (Center-EKRE-Isamaa) and the new coalition of Reform and Center formalized the bill, only the Social Democratic Party was against it. The current coalition reduced the time for subsidized wood burning from three years to two.

Social Democrat Jevgeni Ossinovski called on president Kaljulaid to reject the law after it was approved in the Riigikogu. Ossinovski called the law unconstitutional as it comes at the cost of destroying the environment.

He noted that the development would lead to a rise in felling volumes and is happening at a time of rising electricity prices. An additional two million solid cubic meters of wood per year can now be burned as a result of the law, around a fifth of today's felling volumes, Ossinovski added.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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