The government supported the draft proposal submitted by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure today to accelerate the transition to renewable electricity, with the goal of producing all electricity consumed in Estonia from renewable energy sources by 2030.
"Clearly, the current high electricity prices are due to a lack of generation capacity. High fossil fuel prices and a lack of generating capacity have put all consumers in a precarious situation, which must be dealt with immediately," Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut (SDE) said on Thursday.
"Fortunately, these market signals have prompted companies to make investment decisions to increase renewable energy generation capacity, and the state is doing everything it can to support these efforts. In this climate, it is critical that the government sends a clear signal to encourage investment: by 2030, all of the electricity we consume must be generated from renewable sources," the minister added.
The current renewable electricity target for 2030 is 40 percent of total electricity consumption in Estonia. As the target for renewable electricity is raised to 100 percent, the target for the share of total renewable energy rises from 42 percent to 65 percent.
The state is taking a number of steps to achieve this goal. A tender for renewable energy generation has recently concluded, bringing 540 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy to the market. In addition, the state plans to hold smaller tenders for an additional 1.65 terawatt-hour of renewable electricity over the following three years.
A wind farm levy was recently introduced for local municipalities and residents of wind farm-affected areas, which also helps the development of new onshore and offshore wind farms.
Additional funds have been set aside to improve the grid's readiness as soon as possible, and solutions are being sought to direct the grid's long-term development toward greater readiness for the connection of new renewable electricity generation.
In order to speed up the implementation of renewable energy projects, the government's action plan calls for an audit of the planning, environmental impact assessment, and permitting processes to be carried out under the auspices of the government office (Riigikantselei).
The goal is also to complete the procedure for cross-border projects of national importance, including environmental impact assessments, within maximum of three years, as well as to develop an integrated permit for offshore wind farms and assure a simultaneous authorization process.
Editor: Kristina Kersa