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Estonian Renewable Energy Rose to 14.9% of Consumption in 2012

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Estonian renewable energy output rose by two percentage points to 14.9 percent of total consumption last year, helped by increased electricity production from biomass in the first eight months of the year.

The share of renewables in overall consumption exceeds the 11.3 percent target for 2013, Tallinn-based grid operator Elering AS said in an e-mailed statement today.

Electricity output from biomass, the biggest source of renewable energy, increased by 15 percent last year due to co-burning with oil shale in Eesti Energia AS’s two main power plants near Narva, northeastern Estonia, Elering said. Still, biomass output fell from September when the government decided to stop using biomass at the plants to reduce costs for the consumers who subsidize renewable energy directly through their energy bills.

Wind output rose 23 percent due to three new wind parks, Elering said.

Estonia this month opened the remaining two thirds of its electricity market to competition. Parliament is discussing changes to the electricity market law that would link the renewable-energy subsidies to the market price of electricity and reduce the subsidies by 15 percent to 20 percent.

The changes, which need clearance for state aid from the European Commission, would save consumers as much as 300 million euros ($404 million) until 2020, the Cabinet said last October.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at oummelas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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