Renewable energy covered more than a quarter of consumption in the first quarter of the year
In the first quarter, Estonian power plants produced 677 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy – two percent more than during the same period last year. Electricity produced from renewable sources formed almost one-half of Estonian electricity production and covered more than a quarter of total consumption during the period. The goal set by Estonia for 2030 is to cover 100% of Estonian annual consumption with renewable energy.
While the proportion of renewable energy compared to the total consumption of electricity was 29 percent in the first quarter of the year, it was 26 percent in the same period in 2022. The share of renewable energy in total production was 45 percent. In the same period last year, renewable electricity accounted for 34 percent of production. The share of renewable electricity production was boosted by the decrease in total electricity production at the expense of electricity from fossil sources.
Electricity produced from biomass, biogas and waste made up 57 percent of the production of renewable energy in the first three months of the year. 384 gigawatt-hours of electricity was produced from these types of fuel from January to March, which is 8 percent more compared to the same period last year. €5.9 million of subsidies were paid for the production received from these types of fuel, which is 44 percent less compared to the same period last year.
Wind energy made up 34 percent of the total production of renewable energy in Q1. The 230 gigawatt-hours of wind energy produced is a 2 percent increase compared to the previous year. The subsidies paid to wind energy production in Q1 was €7.4 million. In the first three months of the year, payments have therefore been made to the extent of 23 percent of the maximum limit amount of 600 gigawatt-hours of wind energy to be subsidised in the year.
The number of solar production installations continues to grow at a fast pace, but due to the shortage of sunshine hours, production volumes have decreased in the first quarter compared to the previous year. 53 gigawatt-hours of electricity from solar panels was generated and delivered to the grid in Q1 this year, which is 25 percent less than in the same period last year. Subsidies of more than €2.4 million were paid for solar power produced and delivered to the grid.
The production of hydropower amounted to a total of 9 gigawatt-hours in the first quarter of the year and €87,070 of subsidies were paid.
Renewable energy producers received a total of €16.6 million of subsidies from January to March this year – 29 percent less than in the same period last year. Efficient cogeneration subsidies were paid in the amount of €0.8 million in Q1 this year, which is roughly the same as in the same period last year.
The subsidies for renewable energy and high-efficiency cogeneration are financed by electricity consumers via the renewable energy charge. Detailed information concerning the renewable energy subsidy amounts is available in the Register of State Aid and De Minimis Aid administered by the Ministry of Finance.