Utilitas produced 84% of its energy from renewable fuels in the second quarter

In the second quarter of 2021, Utilitas, the largest renewable energy company in Estonia, produced 300 GWh of green energy, which is 84% of its total production.

Mustamäe cogeneration plant of Utilitas running on renewable fuel (photo: Riho Kirss)

In the second quarter of 2021, Utilitas produced a total of 285 GWh of heat and 74 GWh of electricity, which was 9% and 23% less than last year, respectively. Energy production decreased in Tallinn due to the restructuring of production capacities and hot weather.

Although the average air temperature in April 2021 remained close to the norm, the average in May was almost a degree higher than last year and the weather in June was as much as 4 °C warmer than the norm. A new June heat record was also registered in Estonia. ‘Global warming is continuing at an accelerating pace, and achieving climate and carbon neutrality is essential,’ said Priit Koit, Head of the Utilitas Group.

‘On Wednesday, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals. Achieving the higher goals set by the package is crucial for Europe to be climate-neutral by 2050. In the energy sector, a higher energy consumption reduction target is set, which almost doubles the energy saving obligation of the Member States. Renewable energy is still seen as having an important role, the share of which will be increased from the current 2030 target of 32 per cent to 40 per cent of total energy production,’ said Koit. ‘The proposed action plan is more ambitious than before and requires additional efforts and targeted action by all Member States, but it is the only way to reduce the human footprint,’ he added.

‘Utilitas started the green transition almost 20 years ago, when its first district heating boiler houses were converted to renewable fuels at a time when energy was produced in Estonia exclusively from fossil fuels. Today, we produce most of our energy from renewable sources and plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, primarily by producing and delivering renewable energy to customers in a resource-efficient way and with a smaller carbon footprint than fossil energy,’ said Priit Koit.

With the utilisation of renewable energy sources, Utilitas reduced CO2 emissions by 92,000 tonnes in the second quarter of 2021, which would have been released into the atmosphere if natural gas and oil shale had been used instead.

In the second quarter, Utilitas started building the Tārgale wind farm in the Ventspils region in Latvia, which is planned to be completed by autumn 2022. Utilitas, together with the City of Tallinn, also completed the acquisition of shares in Tallinna Vesi.

Utilitas’ district cooling, which serves the Fahle buildings in the Tselluloosi Quarter in Tallinn, was awarded the Efficient District Cooling label in spring, which proves that the system complies with the efficiency requirements of the European Union. District cooling is being further developed throughout Tallinn, and Utilitas has started work to connect Ülemiste City to efficient district heating and cooling. All district heating systems of Utilitas have been recognised with the Efficient District Heating label.

In total, Utilitas will invest more than 50 million euros this year in ensuring the efficiency and environmental sustainability of energy production, including the construction and renewal of nearly 30 km of district heating pipelines.

Utilitas is the largest district heating company and producer of renewable energy in Estonia. The company supplies heating to 174,000 households in eight Estonian cities – Tallinn, Maardu, Keila, Rapla, Haapsalu, Kärdla, Jõgeva, and Valga – and provides district cooling in Tallinn. The companies of the Utilitas Group operate 26 boiler plants, three combined heat and power stations using biomass, and nine solar power plants.