Utilitas increased green energy production by 13% in the first quarter

Energy group Utilitas produced 591 GWh of green energy in the first quarter, which is 13% more than in the same period last year. The biggest contribution to this growth was made by wind farms, located in Latvia, which produced plenty of green electricity for the region’s electricity grid thanks to excellent wind conditions.

Utilitas’ total energy production increased by 5% year-on-year in the first quarter. At the same time, the energy produced from renewable sources made up nearly two-thirds of total production. Despite the energy crisis and the temporary use of spare fuels, CO₂ emissions decreased by 4% year-on-year in the first quarter.

“As a company providing a vital service, Utilitas has an obligation to always have the possibility to use spare fuels in the district heating system. Therefore, thanks to good preparation and the team’s contribution, we managed the challenging energy crisis well. However, in order to avoid similar situations, our goal is to reduce the share of natural gas as an imported fossil fuel in our fuel portfolio at an even faster pace” explained Priit Koit, the Head of the Utilitas Group.“

Already, two-thirds of the heat consumed by Utilitas’ customers today comes from domestically sourced wood chips or is waste heat. The remaining third is usually covered by natural gas, but during the last heating season, this was temporarily replaced with spare fuels by approx. 40%, primarily with shale oil. The use of shale oil ended in the beginning of March.

In addition, Utilitas is actively working on adding renewable electricity capabilities in the region. In the first quarter of 2023, Latvian wind farms Tārgale, which was completed last fall, and Grobiņa, acquired by Utilitas, produced nearly 60 GWh of green electricity. This fall, the company’s portfolio will be supplemented by the Utilitas Saarde wind farm in Pärnu County.

“In order to secure green electricity and heat energy at a reasonable price and achieve energy security in the broader sense, our region needs new production capacities for both electricity and heat energy. We plan to start the construction of wind farms with a total capacity of 170 MW, this year. In addition, this year, we will also reach the finish line with the key studies on the environmental impact of the Saare-Liivi offshore wind farm,” said Koit.

Utilitas is the largest renewable energy producer and district heating company in Estonia, and the largest wind energy producer in Latvia. Utilitas is moving towards carbon neutrality by building new renewable energy production capacities in the region, investing in solar and wind energy, and implementing the first green hydrogen pilot project.