In Q3, Utilitas produced more than 80 per cent of its energy from renewable fuel
In Q3 of the current year, the energy group Utilitas produced 205,000 MWh of energy, of which 159,000 MWh was heat and 46,000 MWh was electricity. In the first nine months of 2017, Utilitas has limited CO2 emissions by 350,000 tons by using renewable fuel, making it a 15 per cent increase in comparison with the same period of 2016.
In 2015, Estonia joined the Paris climate agreement with the aim of inhibiting global warming; the agreement foresees a global action plan for halting climate change. Members of the agreement must reduce their emissions to keep the rise of global temperatures by 2050 below 2 degrees. ‘We believe that sustainable economic development is possible only when nature is preserved, and we contribute substantially to achieving this goal with our activity – all district heating areas of Utilitas now use local and environmentally friendly renewable fuels. We mainly use the leftovers of the forestry and timber industries – wood chips that are produced from the timber left over from the production of wood products of higher value and from logging waste,’ said Priit Koit, CEO of Utilitas Group.
Utilitas’s investment plan focuses on increasing the percentage of local and renewable fuels. In September this year, a second plant – Estonia’s biggest that produces heat and electricity from renewable fuels – was opened in the Väo energy complex in Tallinn. The new plant covers about 20 per cent of the needs of Tallinn’s district heating consumers and produces electricity for about 50,000 households that use district heating. Now, most of heat in Tallinn is produced from non-fossil fuels and 40 per cent of the consumed heat is produced in the cogeneration plants of Utilitas.
During Q3, Utilitas produced 171,544 MWh of energy on the cogeneration regime, which is 84 per cent of the entire output. Koit explained that the district heating network is the best place to utilise heat generated during the production of electricity. The EU has established in its directives and strategic documents that efficient district heating is the preferred heating solution in densely populated areas.
During the summer months, Utilitas actively renewed and performed maintenance on its production and distribution systems in nearly all areas serviced by the company to ensure the security of supply of heat. This year, Utilitas invested about 14 million euros into the construction and reconstruction of heat networks, thereby renewing 14 kilometres of heat pipelines across Estonia this year.