Little sign of earlier promise in Baltic states

BALTIC STATES: Wind energy in this region kicked off in 2002 and now amounts to an installed capacity of 615MW, with Estonia leading with at 280MW, Lithuania 275MW and Latvia 60MW.

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In 2013, Estonia added only 11MW and Lithuania 50MW. In the previous year the three countries between them added 160MW. Estonia-based Nelja Energia is the biggest wind-energy player in the Baltics, owning 223MW of installed capacity, more than a third of the region's total.


The region's support schemes guarantee stable cash flows to wind-farm operators. Estonia applies a feed-in-tariff that pays around EUR98.7/MWh.

However, starting in 2014, the government is introducing a contract for difference regime with a ceiling of EUR93/MWh. The new support scheme is waiting for approval by the European Commission. The subsidy paid to wind projects is subject to an annual production cap, which means only the first 600GWh of wind energy generated in the calendar year is eligible for support. Given that new projects will tap into the common 600GWh subsidy pool and all best locations in terms of wind resource and grid connectivity have been largely utilised, it is hard to see where new growth will come from.


Latvia's feed-in-tariff of EUR100/MWh is based on around 150MW of wind energy production quotas auctioned in the past. So far, only 60MW is online. The last auction was in 2010 and since then the government has frozen the distribution of new quotas. This translates to no working subsidy for new wind projects, and no new capacity can be expected until the new regulatory framework based on certificates, currently under preparation, is applied.


Lithuania's feed-in-tariff pays EUR 70/MWh. The country applied a tender for 210MW of new wind capacity last year, which resulted in the EUR 70/MWh price for 12 years. This capacity should come online within the next three years.

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