Windpower Monthly rating 4/5
Our rating is based on a combination of project pipeline, political and policy support, investor confidence and structural readiness of the country in terms of grid infrastructure, permitting process and local supply chain.
Forecast of installed and operating wind power capacity based on the latest statisitics and measured against the Windpower Intelligence database.
In October 2017 the Government confirmed the Estonian Energy Plan until 2030, which replaces the existing plan until 2020 that was approved in 2009. The plan calls for renewables’ (principally wind and biomass) share of electricity consumption to rise from the current 30% to 50%, and to provide 80% of the country’s heating needs.
The government recognises that offshore wind will need to be deployed to meet these targets. The plan also says that renewable energy must work without subsidies.
A slow grid approval process, opposition from the defence ministry over wind turbine interference on radar systems, and uncertainty over future subsidy schemes have discouraged investment in onshore wind over recent years.
The confirmation of the new energy plan and the Government’s enthusiasm for offshore wind are encouraging developments.
The planning and permission process is comparatively clear and functional and the supply chain is sufficiently covered locally. Grid infrastructure is mostly adequate. New energy plan calls for the Estonian electricity system to be synchronised with EU frequency bands.
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.
To find locations for new onshore wind farms in Europe, developers are now being forced to consider sites that come with added complexities, such as those in the Natura 2000 network.
LATVIA: Despite the head of the Latvian Wind Energy Association, Paulis Barons, claiming he is an optimist about the future, he predicts policy stagnation in 2013.
ESTONIA: According to the EU directive, Estonia should derive 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The Baltic state has decided that most of this renewable energy will come from wind, which is expected to cover 14% of total electricity needs by 2020. The national action plan forecasts 400MW of onshore wind power and 250MW offshore in 2020, amounting to 1.5TWh. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), says: "It should not be problematic for Estonia to reach its onshore target. The offshore target seems more challenging, but feasible."
BALTIC: The Baltic States have been hard hit by the recent economic crisis, which has slowed development in the wind power industry. Estonia still leads the way with a few promising projects in the pipeline.
ESTONIA: State-owned energy company Eesti Energia will take over renewables developer Nelja Energia, which owns much of the online capacity in the Baltic region.
ESTONIA: Technology firm AS Eleon is working with a consortium of companies and universities to develop a 10MW onshore and offshore wind turbine.
ESTONIA: Regional trade body WindEurope has signed a joint declaration with the wind association in Estonia, calling on the government to promote offshore wind in the Baltic Sea.
ESTONIA: Local developer Nelja Energia has signed a cooperation agreement with the municipal Hiiu government to establish the country's first offshore wind project.
ESTONIA: The nation's wind fleet produced 333GWh of electricity in the first half of 2017, up 36% year on year, according to state-owned utility Elering.