Liive: Estonia could reward those not using electricity during peak hours

Electricity pylon (Photo is illustrative).
Electricity pylon (Photo is illustrative). Source: Elering

Energy entrepreneur and former Eesti Energia board member Sandor Liive suggests, that Estonia could follow the example of the U.K. by introducing a reward system for households, which who do not use electricity during peak hours.

Speaking on morning radio show "Vikerhommik" on Monday, Liive described daily electricity consumption levels as looking like a camel with two humps. Consumption rates are higher in the morning and evening than at other times, and are particularly low at night.

"In the UK, however, there is a system whereby if there is an electricity shortage during peak hours, people are paid money not to use electricity. People are paid three pounds per kilowatt-hour (KWh) that they don't use. At the moment or example, we have universal service at 20 cents per KWh. If this (not using electricity at peak times - ed) were to be compensated, we could reach a more even consumption distribution," Liive said.

Speaking about the problems faced by the Auvere power plant, and further delays before Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor is able to be brought online, Liive said neither was a major disaster.

He reasoned that since the Baltics and Finland stopped buying cheap Russian electricity, 2,500 megawatts of the region's generation capacity has disappeared from the market . This means far more attention is now being paid to other means of generating power than before.

"It's a situation where, whatever is said about power plants immediately makes it into the news. But if you look at the numbers and the facts, there are no more issues with plants in the region (now, than before). We are just noticing it more than we used to. What has changed drastically in the region is the price of electricity. Electricity prices are high at peak times because the price of gas is very expensive," Liive explained.

Liive also spoke about Elering's most recent security of supply report. According to the report, by 2027 the energy situation could change once again, to the extent that Estonia's oil shale power plants will no longer be competitive on the electricity production market.

According to Liive, when it comes to the energy sector it is high time to start taking action toward ensuring Estonia has enough renewable energy production capacity by 2027.

"If we are talking about offshore wind farms, the foundations ought to be commissioned soon. To get something up and running in five years' time, you need to be doing practical things (now). Not just planning, but an investor has to start commissioning. Offshore wind farms will also need specialized vessels (and equipment). These have to be ordered and paid for. In order to get some amount of production capacity up and running, we need to do practical things now," Liive stressed.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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