The government approved the development plans of the Estonian energy and electricity sectors, which provide for a considerable decrease in electrical energy production from oil shale and for an increase in the proportion of other sources of energy, including orientation to the construction of own nuclear power station in Estonia.
Development Plan of the Estonian Electricity Sector until 2018 and the National Development Plan of the Energy Sector until 2020 define the development directions of the Estonian power engineering and the vision of what Estonian power engineering should look like in 10–15 years. The purpose of the development plans is to ensure a constant energy supply to the Estonian population, to make the energy supply and energy consumption more economical in Estonia and to ensure energy supply for the consumers at well-grounded prices.
According to the development plans, the energy supply should be more diversified in Estonia in the future and more different sources of energy should be used as compared to the current situation. While 60% of energy is currently produced from oil shale, in 15 years the proportion of oil shale should remain below 30%. The proportions of other sources of energy should be increased; the use of such types of energy as wind energy, nuclear energy, also timber, gas and liquid fuels should each account for less than 20% of energy consumption in the future.
The Development Plan of the Energy Sector provides for the reconstruction of electrical energy production in Estonia within the next 10–15 years. For that purpose, the combined heat and power production should be expanded from the existing level of 200 MW to 300 MW by 2014 and two more blocks of Narva power stations with the total capacity of 600 MW should be reconstructed. Also the capacity of windmills should be increased to 900 MW together with the required capacity reserves.
The development plan sets the direction to the construction of a nuclear power station in Estonia by 2023; the required amendments in legislation should be made by 2012.
As the security of supply with natural gas and the resulting energy security of states have risen to the agenda, it is important to connect Estonia to the rest of the internal electricity and natural gas market of the European Union. In addition to the Estlink power cable which was completed between Estonia and Finland by the end of 2006, also Estlink 2 should be built by 2018 at the latest, and also building the connections between Lithuania and Poland and between the Baltic States and Sweden are important projects to increase the security of supply of the Estonian electrical energy system.
The Development Plan for the Electricity Sector provides also setting up an energy agency; its structure should be developed by the end of 2009. The purpose of the organisation would be more effective implementation of national energy policy and coordination of the energy policies of the counties and local municipalities, also analysis of the trends in the energy sector and changes in energy markets, and organisation of auctions of pollution quotas.
The most important steps to be taken in the next few years are the development of legislation for the construction of a nuclear power station, development of terms and conditions for the further renovation of Narva power stations, creation of new energy connections with European countries and development of an action plan on renewable energy and the national development plan of the heating sector.
Activities provided in the development plans shall be financed from the state budget and from the budgets of energy companies. The amount of state expenditures on the activities planned in the Development Plan of the Energy Sector will be approximately 32 billion kroons until 2020 and for the activities of the Development Plan of the Electricity Sector approximately 17.5 billion kroons until 2018. Together with the involvement of private capital and loan capital, the full implementation of the Development Plan for the Energy Sector in the course of the next 15 years will cost more than 100 billion kroons. The final amount of investments will depend on administrative and political decisions.
Development Plan of the Estonian Electricity Sector until 2018 is available on the web site of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications at the address http://www.mkm.ee/page-was-not-found/ (in Estonian)
National Development Plan of the Energy Sector until 2020 is available on the web site of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications at the address http://www.mkm.ee/page-was-not-found/ (in Estonian)