Estonian Energy

When it comes to energy policies, Estonia is a very unique country in Europe and the entire world. This is because it does not have a wide range of energy sources such as gas, coal and even oil. However, it does have a large amount oil shale. Due to this, past energy policies completely focused in the development of the shale industry.

However, the country has one of the largest rates of carbon emissions in the world due to this industry. In 2007 alone, over 90 percent of Estonia’s power supply was obtained using oil shale. Due to this, the country formulated a policy that seeks to cut the level of oil shale use from its energy mix significantly.

Energy Regulation and Policy

The Estonian government is placing high priority on its continuing economic reform program. Government objectives and policies in the energy sector can be simply summarized in two ways. These include obtaining a reliable source of energy for the entire country and getting this energy at the lowest possible price.

The government believes that this can be done by increasing energy efficient use and improving the overall reliability of electricity distribution and generation. This is done to attract investment capital where it can be used to help finance much needed infrastructure improvements. At the same time, these improvements help facilitate diversity and competition in areas where government-owned monopolies exist.

Other Objectives

Estonia also intends to separate regulation and policy responsibilities from the actual management of the country’s energy infrastructure. This will help the country decentralize its energy activities at the local level where possible. Additionally, the country intends to privatize all enterprises that are of no national strategic importance.

Because of this, the Estonian government began a phased-in liberalization of its energy sector in 2001. This was done to keep up with objectives in order to gain entry into the European Union. At the same time, new electricity tariffs were developed that will allow consumers to select their electricity supplier.

Important Shifts

Current energy policy encourages the use of renewable energy resources as well. Due to this, a 12.7 percent increase in electricity generated from renewable sources was noted in 2011. This was a huge increase from 1.5 percent in 2007.

This was all due to the government expanding existing wind parks along with launching new wood fuel-based electric plants. It has also had another effect on the consumption of renewable energy resources. Since 2011, the country’s share of renewable energy has steadily risen by at least 2 percentage points every year.

On Track!

Due to significant changes in the country’s energy policies, Estonia is well on its way to become the first country to meet the European Union’s target of providing 20 percent of its energy use from renewable resources.
Unlike other EU countries, Estonia has very clear governmental policies along with a strong commitment to a wide range of investments in that sector. Additionally, Estonians are more open to renewable energy than many of their European counterparts.

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