Electricity production in Estonia moving in an environmentally friendly direction

Posted on 2 September 2020, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, the production of electricity totalled 7,560 gigawatt-hours, which is 39% less than in the previous year. Electricity production from oil shale decreased by 46%.

According to Helle Truuts, analyst at Statistics Estonia, the decrease in electricity production in 2019 was influenced by lower consumption of oil shale in power plants, which shows a clear shift towards more environmentally friendly production. “76% of electricity was produced from oil shale in 2018, but in 2019, the share was only 57%,” added Truuts.

Electricity imports increased to ensure stable domestic electricity consumption. Compared to the previous year, 40% more electricity was imported from the Nordic countries, accounting for 86% of total electricity imports. At the same time, electricity exports nearly halved. Exports to Latvia accounted for 76% of the total exports.

Electricity production from renewable sources has been increasing year after year. In 2019, compared to 2018, there was a 5% increase. Wind power production, accounting for a third of the production of renewable energy, increased 8% year-on-year. The production of electricity from wood fuels and biogas also increased significantly. The production of electricity from wood fuels increased by 4% year-on-year and accounted for nearly two thirds of the production of renewable energy.

Electricity and heat are increasingly produced in cogeneration. Although production volumes remained the same year-on-year, the amount of electricity produced from biomass increased by 30%. In the last five years, the share of electricity produced in cogeneration in total electricity production has remained around 10–12%, but in 2019, it was already 20%.

In 2019, the production of oil shale was 15.9 million tonnes, which is 38% less than in the previous year. The majority of oil shale is consumed in power plants and as raw material for shale oil. Shale oil production was 1.1 million tonnes and most of it was exported; the main destination countries were the Netherlands, Denmark and the United States of America.

The production of wood pellets, which have found a place as an important type of fuel on the energy market, continues to grow. In 2019, nearly 1.6 million tonnes of wood pellets were produced, which is nearly a fifth more than the year before. Due to the continued demand on the external market, most of the production was exported. The main destination countries were Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Electricity production from renewable sources, 2008–2019

Statistics Estonia collects and analyses energy consumption and production data for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in order to determine how the Estonian economy is performing.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

For further information

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181