Green energy production of the energy group Utilitas increased by nearly 30 per cent last year
In 2017, the energy group Utilitas produced 1,105,000 MWh of green energy, which is nearly one third more than in 2016.
Last year, Utilitas produced a total of 1,680,600 MWh of heat and 243,600 MWh of electric energy, which, compared to the year before, was 12 and 40 per cent more, respectively. The electricity production grew notably after the start-up of the heat and electricity cogeneration plant. ‘This is the biggest investment project of Utilitas in recent times, thanks to which the greater portion of the heat of the district heating of Tallinn is produced from non-fossil fuels and most of the consumed energy comes from cogeneration plants,’ said Priit Koit, Head of Utilitas Group.
By using cogeneration and biofuels, Utilitas avoided the generation of more than 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions in 2017, which is 20 per cent more than in the year before. ‘This is the extra quantity of carbon dioxide that would be generated if we produced the same amount of energy from gas and oil shale,’ Koit added. That is why all district heating regions of Utilitas have been transferred to local and environmentally friendly renewable energy – wood chips. Last year, the temperature in Estonia was half a degree higher than the average. ‘Combined heat and energy generation and the use of renewable fuels in district heating, however, helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow down the warming of the climate,’ Koit explained.
Last year, 92 buildings throughout Estonia joined the district heating networks of Utilitas with a total output of 49 MW, which is a record in terms of level, similarly to 2016. In 2017, Utilitas provided heat to 4,741 buildings, including to more than 165,000 households, in eight Estonian cities.
The companies of the group invested a total of 21 million euros in 2017: over 11 million euros in the construction of heating networks and nearly 10 million euros in energy production. Out of the investments made, the Environmental Investments Centre (EIC) finances 0.8 million euros. The total amount of state and labour taxes paid by Utilitas was 14.2 million euros last year.