The government could make a decision to solve restrictions on new wind farms caused by air defense radars this fall that could open areas that are currently off limits to wind turbines to development in 2024.
"It's true that the energy and climate committee, headed by the PM, discussed this topic at length on Monday, and the goal of finding a solution to the problem of radars is included in the government's activity plan for this fall. Therefore, the government will hopefully make a decision to alleviate the current situation in October or at least before winter," said Timo Tatar, deputy secretary general for energy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MKM) .
He emphasized that no decisions exist as of yet, but the government was given a thorough overview of what making such a decision would mean, which areas it would free from restrictions and how much it would cost on Monday.
The deputy secretary general said that additional radars should cost under €100 million. "We have detailed figures in terms of the required investment. I can tell you the cost would be under €100 million," Tatar said.
The radars could be paid for using EU subsidies or more likely sums from sale of CO2 quota.
Talking about deadlines, Tatar said that acquisition of additional radars and development of new wind farms should take place simultaneously. "As soon as the decision has been made and procurements launched, we want to give wind farm developers information on where wind farms can be developed, concerning areas where there are no radar restrictions or where they allow for development. We want these processes to be parallel – the Ministry of Defense will procure the necessary equipment, while wind park developers launch their processes," Tatar said.
"Wind farms cannot become operational before these new radars are in place and working that should happen in 2024 as things stand, provided these decisions are made," the deputy secretary general said.
As of the end of last year, Estonia has 310 MW worth of wind farm, while Tatar said the country could have over 1,000 MW worth of wind power to meet its climate targets.
Minister of Defense Jüri Luik wrote in the Monday issue of Postimees that the Ministry of Defense supports achieving the goals of the Paris climate accord, and that the only known solution for allowing future wind park development is procurement of additional air defense radars for the Defense Forces early warning system.
Editor: Marcus Turovski