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Energy

Estonia has a diversified energy sector which comprises long-standing expertise in oil shale, a sizeable renewables sector and growing CleanTech capability. World-class expertise within a highly digital, pro-business environment will see Estonia play a leading role in the energy revolution

  • #1 in world for smart grids and electric vehicles
  • 30% of electricity generated from renewables in 2017
  • 100% of electricity to be generated by renewables by 2030
  • #3 globally for science education

Our advantages

#3globally for science education
EducationWorld-class education in science, maths and IT.
e-IdentityFast growing sustainable energy sector including wind, biomass and waste-to-energy.
SkillsWorld-class IT skills including CleanTech software, smart grid and electric vehicle networks.
Digital infrastructureLong standing expertise in oil shale technology.
BlockchainCommitment to development sustainable of sustainable energy and circular economy.

Overview

100%of energy generated from renewables by 2030

Estonia has produced from oil shale on an industrial scale since the 1930s and today remains a leader in the field. A sizeable proportion of production is exported to the regional Nord Pool market and world-class expertise exists in processes and technologies which improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Sustainable energy capacity is growing year-on-year in Estonia across a range of segments including waste-to-energy, solar, wind, and biomass. Estonia’s state energy strategy requires renewables to produce the majority of electricity and heat by 2030, enabled through public and private sector investment in capacity and connectivity.

Estonia is also committed to sustainable consumption. In 2013 Estonia implemented the world’s first nationwide electric vehicle network in collaboration with ABB (read more). Today gas is commonly used to power transportation and Estonia is a leading proponent of the Circular Economy, recycling by-products from oil shale mining in construction.

As befits the world’s most digitally enabled nation, Estonia is at the forefront of applying technology to transform the energy sector – focusing on advancing green technologies and achieving thus climate neutrality goals. The expectations towards hydrogen technologies are high and re-discovered renewable energy carriers play a key role in reaching the climate-neutral targets. Skeleton Technologies (read more), a pioneer in ultracapacitor-based energy storage and Cleantech 100 company, conducts R&D in Estonia. Elcogen is the world’s most advanced manufacturer of ceramic anode-supported solid oxide cells and stacks, whereat their products have the world’s highest rate of energy conversion efficiency.

Estonia has also one of the few Smart Grids in the world, integrating hardware and software to produce real-time and predictive data on nationwide electricity patterns. Generators and distributors are empowered to deliver the optimal energy mix, identify service issues and automate billing. Consumers use apps and analytics to create personalised packages and can fix prices or trade excess electricity in the market. Efficiency is increased, environmental impact decreased and security assured by world-class cybersecurity expertise.

In the future, Estonia’s ability to integrate physical-digital solutions, supported by world-class expertise and a pro-business environment, will see it emerge as a global center of excellence in sustainable energy technologies.

Whether you seek production opportunities for regional markets, cutting-edge digital solutions, or R&D capabilities, Estonia is the ideal location for those seeking to take advantage of the energy revolution.

Energy grid tech

100%of energy generated from renewables by 2030

Estonia pushing its way to become a leading GreenTech R&D and production centre in the region. Already in 2012, Estonia established the world’s first nationwide electric vehicle fast-charging network and also developed the smartest energy distribution grid. The government has worked closely in the very early stages to reach that and developed close cooperation with the private sector.

Tech mindset and ecosystem make it a great place to test and develop new solutions. Foreign investors and local companies have used Estonia as a testbed and a development environment for decades. ABB, Codebourne, Net Group, Ericsson and others are just a few examples to name. The energy system is experiencing fast change, both in Europe and around the world. Modern IT solutions offer a myriad of opportunities to make energy production and consumption more efficient and to improve the smart management of energy systems.

Our national grid company Elering develops an energetics-centric IT infrastructure in cooperation with its partners that offers all interested parties the chance for the development, marketing, and use of smart solutions.

For nearly a decade we have supported local early energy transition technology developers, such as Elcogen and Skeleton Technologies. By now, Elcogen is the most advanced fuel cell producer with the highest rate of energy conversion efficiency in the world. Skeleton Technologies has become the global leader in ultracapacitor and supercapacitor energy storage systems. These two now have large partnerships with leading industry players in automotive, wind power and in many other industries to accelerate the green transition across the world.

As a member of the EU internal energy market, using Estonia as a very open and agile R&D sandbox, business models developed here can quickly be scaled to the rest of the EU energy market.

The energy tech segment is growing fast, and good examples are Nilar AB who is currently expanding its electricity storage R&D and production plant and Ensto Ensek which is expanding its EV charging systems production units in Estonia. Local universities, centres of excellence for energy systems and collaborative CleanTech ecosystem, this value chain has solid grounds in Estonia.

In addition, Estonia has also set a goal to become the number one green energy producer per capita in the world. Our vast length of sea border and big infrastructure ambitions with wind energy on land and sea allows us to achieve a lot of innovation ambitions in grid and storage technologies.

Another important topic in grid tech is cybersecurity and there is a number of world-leading companies that have solutions to enable that in energy infrastructure such as Cybernetica, Guardtime, CybeExer, and others. In the rapidly evolving world of cyber security Estonia is at the forefront of thought leadership and global collaboration through its hosting of the CyCon event and the Locked Shields and Crossed Swords exercises. We are happy to see that Siemens is a contributor to these cooperation frameworks and we see Siemens as a strategic partner in future energy grid security best practice developers together with Estonian stakeholders.

Offshore wind tech

100%of energy generated from renewables by 2030

Over the years Estonia has exceeded its renewable energy targets and already has a high concentration of solar and wind energy production on land.

As of May 2022, The Estonian Maritime Spatial Plan was approved, and a green light has been given to start the tendering process of up to 7 GW of offshore wind production sites. As the government has decided to reach 100% of renewable electricity consumption by 2030, this is a clear message to encourage the kickstart of investments in offshore wind farms.

On 30 August 2022, at the Energy Security Summit, the European Union member states around the Baltic Sea agreed on improving their cooperation to strengthen the region’s energy security and increase the current wind energy capacity of the Baltic Sea sevenfold by 2030. In addition to the Baltic Sea energy network, the declaration includes the ELWIND offshore wind farm and network developed jointly by Estonia and Latvia, Estlink 3 planned with Finland and synchronisation of energy networks with Central Europe as the key projects relevant to Estonia.

There are 45 registered seaports in Estonia. Most significant ports with major industrial areas around the quays well suited for the offshore wind industry are as follows: Paldiski South Harbour (max depth 15.5 m), Sillamäe (max depth 16m), Muuga (max depth 18 m), Saaremaa (max depth 10 m), Pärnu (max depth 7 m), Roomassaare (max depth 4.6 m). Key ports that have directed their future focus on offshore wind tech are Paldiski South Harbour and Roomassaare.

For offshore wind tech, there is also a special purpose innovation area developed on the seas to provide real-life laboratory conditions for offshore wind tech innovation. It is an 88 sq. km area free of fast ice targeted especially for wind turbines and wind farms predominantly on floating foundations, smart robotics, sensors, and other innovative solutions necessary for the development of the industry.

Offshore wind technologies are one key focus area in the Estonian R&D, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy 2021-2035. The country is strategically planning an innovative and large manufacturing base and innovation platform for new-generation offshore wind technology solutions. With local universities, centers of excellence for energy systems, and a collaborative cleantech ecosystem, this value chain has solid ground in Estonia.

Skeleton Technologies, the global leader in ultracapacitor and supercapacitor energy storage systems, has signed a deal with a world leader in renewable energy production to use Skeleton’s SkelMod modules to have greater wind turbine pitch control. MindChip has a robot ship which is an innovative product and a service delivery platform that can perform different tasks as well as parcel and cargo transportation services. Various modules can be attached to the robotic ship base platform, such as sonar, suitable for different surveys, cameras, equipment suitable for underwater work, etc. Baltic Workboats has produced hundreds of boats in different sizes for various industries including offshore wind. Their patented wave-piercing technology makes it possible to deliver one of the most stable, safe, and crew-friendly workboats in the industry. Hepta Airborne has been inspecting Estonian electricity lines since 2018 and is now operating in 13 counties with its unique 600km range UAV equipped with lidars, sensors, and AI-powered end-to-end inspection solutions. Incap Electronics professionals provide high-class design and manufacturing services to customers that need flexible and agile electronics components to work under the harshest conditions. Their customers include the largest marine energy tech company Corvus Energy, European Space Agency and Maxar Technologies.

Energy

These websites can be useful when interested in the Energy sector in Estonia:

You are also welcome to send us a request for personal e-consulting to obtain more specific information.

Business opportunities in Estonia

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Need more information?

What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?

The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.

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