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Eesti Energia to cease electricity production from oil shale by 2030

Estonia’s energy group Eesti Energia’s new long-term action plan envisages the cessation of electricity production from oil shale by 2030 and a transition to exclusively renewable electricity production.

The company will no longer produce liquid fuels from oil shale after 2040 when newer pyrolysis plants have been completely redesigned to produce raw materials for the chemical industry. All production will be carbon neutral by 2045 at the latest.

Eesti Energia’s CO2 emissions have fallen threefold over the last few years: from 11.3 million tons in 2018 to 3.8 million tons in 2020. The company’s CO2 emissions have decreased by 81 per cent to date compared to 1990 and the Estonian State has met the 2030 target for reducing greenhouse gases.

“We believe that electrification, including wider use of green electricity in transport, housing and industrial processes, is the best and fastest way to reduce CO2 emissions in Estonia and in the world,” said Hando Sutter, Chairman of the Management Board of Eesti Energia. “Over the next five years, Eesti Energia will increase its renewable electricity generation capacity two-and-a-half-fold. We see our role and responsibility to be an enabler of the green revolution. We help our customers plan and then implement their journey towards a smaller environmental footprint. For this, we already have the necessary range of services for complete solutions waiting for customers.”

The restructuring of large-scale production in Ida-Virumaa has a longer perspective in the company’s strategy. The use of oil shale in thermal power plants will end during 2026-2030. The remaining power plants will only use waste wood and semi-coke gas generated as a by-product of oil production, following the principles of the circular economy. The role of steerable power plants will be to provide services that help maintain stability in the power network after the disconnection of the Baltics from the Russian electrical system.

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