Electricity production increased last year
According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, the production of electricity totalled 12 terawatt-hours, which is 17% more than in the previous year. Electricity production from renewable sources decreased 6% compared to 2015.
A contributor to growth in production was a colder winter, which increased demand among enterprises and inhabitants. Domestic consumption of electricity increased 3% in 2016, year over year. Although electricity exports decreased 12% compared to 2015, Estonia is still a net exporting country where production exceeds consumption. The growth in production was also affected by a 30% decline in imports.
While until 2015 electricity production from renewable sources increased, in 2016 renewable energy production decreased for the first time. The total production of renewable energy declined 6% compared to 2015, and the biggest decrease (15%) was in the production of wind energy. As a result of improvements in waste management in recent years, biogas generated in landfills and water treatment plants can be used for electricity production. Whereas in 2015 biogas-based electricity was produced for the power network in the amount of 50 gigawatt-hours, in 2016 it was 45 gigawatt-hours, which is 10% less.
In 2016, the production of oil shale was nearly 16 million tonnes, which is approximately a fifth less than in the previous year. The majority of oil shale is consumed in power plants, and over 80% of electricity was generated from oil shale. In addition to electricity production, oil shale in also used as raw material for shale oil. 740,000 tonnes of shale oil was produced in 2016. Approximately 90% of the production was exported, and the main destination countries were Belgium (35%), the Netherlands (31%) and Sweden (13%).
Wood pellets are a new and important type of fuel on the energy market. During the last five years their production has increased more than three times. In 2016, wood pellets were produced in the amount of approximately 1.2 million tonnes, which is 30% more compared to 2015. Due to consistent demand, more than 95% of production of wood pellets was exported. The major destination countries were Denmark (52%), the United Kingdom (22%) and the Netherlands (12%).
For domestic consumption purposes, natural gas, liquid fuels, coal and coke were imported in 2016. The imports of natural gas increased approximately 10% year over year, and this was mainly due to the demand of power plants. Domestic consumption of motor gasoline increased approximately 7%, while the consumption of diesel fuel decreased 2%.
For the statistical activity “Energy consumption and production (annual)”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia performs this statistical activity.
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