The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has drawn up a plan of options on how energy production might look in the future in Estonia. The government is planning to decide next year, based on the plan, if more power stations should be built, and of what sort.
High electricity prices have created a situation where it's possible that at the beginning of next year, hundreds of thousands of people can find themselves asking for support from the local government.
"I'm going to the government's cabinet to introduce our next steps according to the task, what we've done so far in energetics and the coalition needs to decide then," Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Taavi Aas (Center) said.
In addition to renewable energy development, the government needs to decide how much are manually controlled energy sources needed, which would produce energy when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining.
Aas said that it would be most affordable to keep Narva's old oil shale blocks in the reserve. Estonia's biggest oil shale to energy company Eesti Energia agrees.
"These manually controllable energy sources will be needed for a relatively short time today and in the future. Will we build something new to cover what the consumer is likely to pay for, or keep the old if we don't have enough of the new. And we are definitely ready to do it," Hando Sutter, the head of Eesti Energia said.
Alternatives to the Ministry of Economic Affairs include the additional use of wood chips and, for example, the construction of a nuclear power plant.
"I support the fact that Taavi Aas is coming with a comprehensive plan, which also includes an analysis of a nuclear power plant, for example, and a comprehensive view of how more capacity will be created in Estonia and our region," Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) commented.
Pentus did not unequivocally say whether she supports the nuclear power plant: "I want to see a comprehensive plan to make that decision. It is clear that investing in a plant will certainly take time, but again, what are the alternatives?"
The government plans to decide what to do with Estonian energy production next year.
"We now have to make these decisions, because I think we all understand that the energy situation has become complicated and it seems that it may not get any easier," Aas explained.
Editor: Roberta Vaino