Utilitas’ green energy production increased by almost a third

In the first half of 2020, Utilitas, Estonia’s largest renewable energy company, produced 853,600 MWh of green energy. This is nearly 30% more than during the same period a year ago. In the first half of the year, Utilitas produced a total of 990,000 MWh of heat and 190,000 MWh of electricity.

Photo: Utilitas Tallinn Elektrijaam and solar power plant.

The first half of 2020 was warmer than usual, which is why Utilitas sold 5% less heat than at the same time last year. ‘The slight decrease in sales was caused by the emergency situation, during which heat consumption decreased in establishments such as hotels, schools, and sports centres,’ said Priit Koit, CEO of energy group Utilitas. ‘During the emergency situation, we provided an uninterrupted district heating service to our customers. To achieve this, we increased the safety of the work environment, minimised human contacts, and shifted to teleworking where possible,’ added Koit.

According to the Estonian Weather Service, January and February were more than 6 degrees warmer than usual, and although the average temperature in May was slightly below average, June brought a heatwave with a temperature 3 degrees higher than normal. ‘A comparison of the years shows that global warming is continuing at an accelerating pace, and the biggest cause of this is the burning of fossil fuels. We consider it important to achieve climate neutrality, and the decarbonisation of the energy sector has a key role to play in this,’ said Koit. ‘Utilitas produces most of its heat from domestic renewable resources. We are also constantly looking for new solutions, promoting developments in fuel-free solar and wind energy production, and exploring the possibilities of heat accumulators,’ said Koit.

With the production of renewable energy, Utilitas reduced CO2 emissions by 376,000 tonnes in the first half of 2020, which would have been released into the atmosphere if natural gas and oil shale had been used instead.

In the first half of the year, 33 new buildings with a total capacity of 12 MW joined the district heating networks of Utilitas. As at the end of June, Utilitas supplied 4,972 buildings with district heating, including 174,000 households.

In 2020, Utilitas will invest nearly 37 million euros in environmental sustainability, efficiency, and construction of heat pipelines.

Utilitas produces heat and electricity and offers district heating services in eight cities across Estonia: Tallinn, Rapla, Haapsalu, Kärdla, Valga, Jõgeva, Keila, and Maardu. The length of Utilitas’ thermal energy networks exceeds 530 kilometres. The companies of the Utilitas Group operate 27 boiler plants, three combined heat and power stations using biomass, and one solar power plant. The group includes the district heating companies AS Utilitas Tallinn, AS Utilitas Eesti, and OÜ Utilitas Tallinna Elektrijaam, which produces heat and electricity in Tallinn.