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Eesti Energia CEO: national wind energy capacity is now nearly maxed out

Chairman of the Eesti Energia management board Sandor Liive says wind farms in all but offshore locations have reached their full potential in Estonia and the renewable energy focus should now be placed on biomass.

The 126 wind turbines now spinning in Paldiski, after yesterday’s opening ceremony for 18 of them, can produce enough to fill 6 percent of the entire country’s electricity consumption needs.

By the end of the year, the figure should be at 8 percent – 300 megawatts when all blades are spinning.

But although wind energy advocates say the entire country’s needs could be covered, energy specialists say the golden era of wind farms is past, ETV reported.

The government officials who are in effect Liive’s employers are cautious about devolving additional charges along to consumers, who are already under strain from the fluctuations of the power market after deregulation.

Estonia is close to its target under EU energy strategies.

“Our consumers should pay as much as we need to meet [our commitments to the EU], and everything in excess of that is a renewable energy allowance that we could sell to those who have trouble meeting that target,” said Ando Leppiman, Ministry of Economic Affairs undersecretary.

The future in renewables is biomass, says Liive.

“If we look at what might give added impetus to the Estonian economy, it would certainly be making more use of the biomass in Estonia for energy production,” said Liive.

“Do we want to make the next leap with additional wind turbines or use biomass? I think it would be more beneficial for Estonia to use domestic biomass,” he said.