In 2019, the proportion of green energy generated by Utilitas continued to grow
Utilitas has continuously increased its green energy production in recent years and in 2019, the energy group generated 1.4 million MWh of environment-friendly electricity and heat. This was an 18% increase compared to 2018 and a 69% increase compared to 2016. In total, the energy group generated 1.82 million MWh of heat and nearly 350,000 MWh of electricity, which meant an annual growth of 5% and 13%, respectively. In 2019, Utilitas group companies invested 38 million euros.
‘In recent years, Utilitas has consistently made big investments in a cleaner and carbon-free environment, reducing the carbon footprint of the energy sector through modern urban solutions. We are the largest producer of renewable energy in Estonia and we are committed to maximising the share of energy from renewable resources. Last year, the use of renewable fuels, including wood chips, in energy production helped Utilitas to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 650,000 tonnes, which would be produced, if the same amount of energy were generated from natural gas and oil shale,’ said Priit Koit, Head of Utilitas Group.
Customers of Utilitas consumed nearly 1.9 million MWh of heat last year, which was 2% less than the year before. 2019 was one of the warmest years in the last 50 years, resulting in lower heat consumption.
District heating continues to be popular
In 2019, 109 buildings across Estonia joined the Utilitas network, with a total capacity of almost 53 MW. More than half of the new customers of the district heating network were apartment buildings, but also modern office buildings, commercial establishments, and educational and medical institutions. District heating is the preferred solution due to the use of renewable energy and the competitive price. As at the end of the year, Utilitas supplied district heating to 4,931 buildings, including 173,000 households in eight cities across Estonia.
In 2019, Utilitas invested a total of 38 million euros, which made the company more efficient in terms of environmental sustainability and energy production. Since 2016, production of renewable energy has increased by 69%, which reflects the positive impact of the investments.
As part of the investments for 2019, Utilitas completed the construction of the Mustamäe cogeneration plant, continued the development of the district heating network, and developed IT and customer management systems. In 2019, more than 20 kilometres of district heating pipelines were renovated and built. During the renovations, old pipelines were replaced by modern ones, which ensure security of supply for customers and reduce heat losses.
Last year, Utilitas opened a new cogeneration plant, in which the company has invested 48 million euros over the years. This is the group’s third renewable fuel-based cogeneration plant for combined production of power and heat in Tallinn. In addition, last year, Utilitas built its first district cooling plant in Tallinn and connected the first client to the network in the Fahle district.
‘Last year, Utilitas contributed to the existing district heating networks as well as to the development of new projects. The National Energy and Climate Plan 2030 states that 63% of the heat consumed and 42% of the total energy consumed must come from renewable resources. Utilitas aims to help the state in achieving these goals through both our current areas of activity and future business directions,’ noted Priit Koit. Thus, in 2019, the company initiated developments in the field of fuel-free energy – solar and wind energy.
Utilitas is Estonia’s leading energy group, whose principal activities are the generation of energy and electricity and the provision of district heating services. The aims of Utilitas are clean and efficient generation of heat and electricity and the promotion of economical energy consumption. All district heating systems of Utilitas have been awarded with the Efficient District Heating label. Utilitas operates in eight cities all over Estonia – Tallinn, Maardu, Keila, Rapla, Haapsalu, Kärdla, Jõgeva, and Valga – and employs 249 people.