Electricity Market Act
In 2012, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications initiated a legislative amendment aimed at changing the renewable energy subsidy scheme. In October 2014, the European Commission issued a state aid permit for the previously in force, current and revised renewable energy subsidy scheme. On September 19th of 2016, The Parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu) started processing the draft of The Electricity Market Act Amendment Act SE290. The draft regulates that if the production capacity of existing production equipment is not sufficient enough to meet the goal of electricity production from the state’s renewable energy source or in the production of electricity in an efficient cogeneration mode, the government, on the proposal of the Minister for Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, arranges an underbidding to obtain additional production capacity. In addition, the existing producers will be distinguished and will receive support under the current grant rates for the 12-year support period. A regulation of international cooperation mechanisms transposing the relevant EU directive was added to the law. The directive encourages the use of energy from renewable sources.
District Heating Act
In 2016, amendments to the District Heating Act 8 years in the making were completed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and given to The Parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu) and processing the draft law started on 13 June 2016. The aim of the amendment of the District Heating Act was to direct district heating providers to use more stable, environmentally friendly and cheaper fuels. The aim of the bill is to provide the district heating consumer with the lowest and most stable price of heat energy, hand in hand with a well-organized and efficiently arranged heat supply. Among other things, additions in the draft included mandate norms to establish regulations necessary for pricing regulation, and further clarifications were made that were proved necessary in practice.
The Estonian National Development Plan of the Energy Sector Until 2030
In 2016 the Estonian government approved a development plan named The Estonian National Development Plan of the Energy Sector Until 2030. At present, the draft has been forwarded to The Parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu) for an opinion. Upon receiving the opinion from The Parliament of Estonia, the government will make a final decision for the development plan. The new plan sets the direction of the energy sector until 2030, but also sets goals up to 2050.
General Principles of Estonian Climate Policy until 2050
In 2015, the Ministry of Environment started to develop General Principles of Estonian Climate Policy until 2050. The goal of the paper is to formulate and agree on a national level long-term climate policy vision, policy guidelines and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets until 2050. The development document will contain long-term policy orientations in the areas of energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management to move towards a vision of Estonia’s long-term climate policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.
Amending the Grid Code
In 2016, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications initiated the amendment of the Grid Code in connection to the implementation of the EU network rules. EREA has put forward several dozen proposals for the new Grid Code, based on extensive analysis by consulting firm GL Garrad Hassan. The process of amending the code should end in 2018.
Draft Law for Energy Communities
In 2015, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications published a plan for the elaboration of a draft law on energy communities. Although the draft was promised to be submitted for approval in the same year, it has not happened yet. Establishing operating conditions for energy communities is very important; at present, legislation does not even allow the establishment of energy cooperatives. In 2015, Arengufond implemented the Energy Communities Mentoring Program that mapped the potential of Estonian energy communities, and analyzed the socio-economic impacts and legal effects of energy associations.
Marine Spatial Planning
In 2015, the first marine plans of Estonia were prepared, which determine the areas and conditions for the use of marine resources, including for the introduction of offshore wind turbines. First plans were made for Pärnu and Hiiumaa counties, where both plans have been accepted and established by county governors. The state has indicated willingness to draw up a plan for all marine areas. The first draft of the marine area plans should reach the public no later than in November of 2017. The planning is expected to be completed by December 2019.