According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Friday, the production of electricity in 2016 totaled 12 terawatt-hours, up 17 percent from 2015. Electricity production from renewable sources, however, decreased 6 percent compared to 2015.
One contributor to growth in production was a cold winter, which increased demand among businesses and private households alike. Domestic consumption of electricity increased three percent on year in 2016. Although electricity exports decreased 12 percent compared to 2015, Estonia has remained a net exporting country, where production exceeds consumption. The growth in production was also affected by a 30-percent decline in imports.
While electricity production from renewable sources was on the rise until 2015, it decreased for the first time in 2016, dropping 6 percent compared to 2015. The biggest decrease, of 15 percent, was recorded in wind energy production. As a result of improvements in waste management in recent years, biogas generated in landfills and water treatment plants can be used for the production of electricity. While 50 gigawatt-hours of biogas-based electricity was produced for the power network in 2015, this figure dropped ten percent to 45 gigawatt-hours in 2016.
Nearly 16 million tons of oil shale was produced in 2016, approximately one-fifth less than in the previous year. The majority of oil shale in Estonia is consumed in power plants, and over 80 percent of the country's electricity was generated from oil shale. In addition to electricity production, oil shale is also used as a raw material in the production of shale oil. 740,000 tons of shale oil was produced in 2016, approximately 90 percent of which was exported, mainly to Belgium (35 percent), the Netherlands (31 percent) and Sweden (13 percent).
Wood pellets are a newer and significant type of fuel on the energy market, and over the last five years, their production has increased more than threefold. In 2016, approximately 1.2 million tons of wood pellets were produced, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year. Due to consistent demand, more than 95 percent of wood pellet production was exported, primarily to Denmark (52 percent), the U.K. (22 percent) and the Netherlands (12 percent).
For domestic consumption purposes, natural gas, liquid fuels, coal and coke were imported in 2016. Natural gas imports increased approximately 10 percent on year, primarily due to power plant demand. Domestic consumption of gasoline increased approximately seven percent, while the consumption of diesel fuel decreased two percent.
Editor: Aili Vahtla