Estonia's energy policy needs to be disassembled, as wind energy does not ensure stability, and thus cannot be Estonia's long-term plan, Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said on Monday.
"We should disassemble our entire energy policy and ask ourselves what our long-term plan is," Helme told the regional paper Põhjarannik. "No need to tell me about wind energy — that is not a long-term plan. It's just for show. What is our real plan to ensure the stable production of a meaningful amount of energy?"
According to the minister, a second Enefit280 oil plant could be built and launched within four to five years.
"I do believe it can be done faster, however," he continued. "If we force it, we can make it happen in a couple of years. Meanwhile, however, we are faced with two big issues — what will the miners do for these two years, and where will we get our electricity from? We have gone from being an exporter of electricity to an importer, which is not at all acceptable in security or economic terms."
While the price of carbon dioxide emissions quotas will not decline, closing the Estonian market to Russia's electricity is an option, Helme said.
"Cutting off Russia's electricity is a solution we could have fast," he noted. "We are talking about months, not years."
In order to avoid laying off miners and energy technicians, the power plants in Narva could be used for burning biomass. Another option would be to retain a strategic reserve, which would mean that miners would be retained on the payroll without work.
"Compensating this expense is a consensual issue," the minister said. "It could come at the expense of [Estonian state-owned energy group] Eesti Energia's dividend, which would thus be decreased. It could come from an extra charge, which would need to be calculated. It could also be some sort of exceptional loan. Economically, it's a negative figure, that much is clear."
Editor: Aili Vahtla