The Estonian government has initiated the preparation of necessary legislation allowing a partial replacement of oil shale with biomass in Eesti Energia's Narva power plants in North-Eastern Estonia.
According to Taavi Aasa, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, the partial use of biomass will half CO2 emissions of the power plants and significantly increase Estonia's renewable energy production. Furthermore, the conversion will improve the competitiveness of the power plants in the electricity market in light of increasing CO2 prices. “Replacing fossil fuels with biomass in existing power plants is the fastest way to increase the country's share of renewable energy, ”the minister added.
According to Aasa, a more competitive production price will support Eesti Energia's higher production capacity and, with it, jobs. "It is necessary for both Ida-Viru County and Estonia as a whole that the energy sector is strong and that good specialists can work there," Aasa said.
The three state-of-the-art power generation units at Narva power plants can use up to 50% biomass in their total fuel mix. Experts estimate, that the converted power plants will be using around 500 000 m3 of wood chips from low grad logs and harvest residues annually.