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Riina Sikkut, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, gave an overview of the development of wind farms during the government meeting today. Wind farm developments are already in progress in Estonian overland and offshore areas in a volume that exceeds the targets set for 2030 by many times.

“A lot of preliminary work has been performed in order to launch new renewable energy capacities, and it will yield results in the next few years. However, we will only be able to achieve Estonia’s renewable energy targets if we ensure an excellent investment environment for companies in order to develop renewable energy,” said Riina Sikkut, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure.

The state has set the goal of covering all of our consumption from renewable energy by 2030. Consumption forecasts show that for achieving this, we must produce at least 9.4 terawatt-hours of renewable energy per year. For comparison, in 2021, the production of renewable energy reaching the power grid amounted to 2.88 terawatt-hours, which comprised 29 percent of the total consumption of electricity.

According to the Minister, the interest of renewable energy developers in the creation of new production capacities is currently at a very high level. “Companies wish to contribute more to renewable energy and there is no doubt that in the near future, a steadily increasing volume of feasible production of renewable energy will enter the market. Numerous wind energy projects are currently in various stages of development, as seen in the comprehensive and specific plans of local governments. Furthermore, a total of 44 applications for superficies licences for constructing offshore wind farms have been submitted to the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority as of now. Likewise, the high level of interest of developers can be observed in the reverse auctions for renewable energy where the volumes desired by the state have been exceeded manifold,” said the Minister. “It is positive to note that more and more renewable energy projects are made on a market basis without any subsidies.”

According to Riina Solman, Minister of Public Administration, the information received from local governments indicates that developers of overland wind farms currently have approximately 3.7 gigawatts of production capacity pending in the planning phase with a production of nearly 10 terawatt-hours per year. “In order to complete these projects, environmental impact assessment and joining the power grid at a reasonable cost play a crucial role. Additionally, there are currently two maritime area plans applicable in Estonia – the Estonian Maritime Spatial Plan and the Pärnu Maritime Spatial Plan – comprising more than 2,400 square kilometres of potential production areas of wind energy. If these plans were fulfilled, offshore wind farms would cover the current energy consumption of Estonia by nearly tenfold,” noted Solman. However, the volume of the projects to be completed ultimately depends on environmental restrictions, the possibilities for joining the power grid as well as the investment decisions of companies.

According to Minister Riina Sikkut, we must find the most cost-efficient methods for consumers in order to boost the increase in the production of renewable energy. “We will soon announce a new major reverse auction of renewable energy, but in addition, we are also planning to draw up an analysis as to whether and in what volume we require auctions pertaining specifically to technology, e.g. for creating offshore wind farms, in order to meet our state goals. At the same time, work is ongoing in relation to accelerating the processes for permit proceedings, and this year, the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority is planning to announce auctions for superficies licences of maritime areas,” noted the Minister in relation to the developments in the near future.