Keit Pentus, the Estonian minister of environmental affairs, has decided to hire ‘Sorainen’ – one of Estonia’s most expensive law firms. This has been done in the hope to defend the current system of renewable energy subsidies, and help the country to meet green energy targets.
Last year, subsidies have been reported to be drying up in Europe, because wind and solar subsidies are too expensive to be viable, this has lead to some EU countries looking towards nuclear power as a less expensive alternative. Although, conversely, some green energy projects have proven to have a capital return of over 30%. A recent report in stated that Estonia’s government intends to reverse the pledge by economic Minister Juhan Parts to reduce support by keeping subsidies for renewable energy producers to meet current targets.
The subsidy system introduced in 2007 is now to be analysed by the Economy Ministry, to assure that they are reaching the optimum level of support. It is hoped that if this support arrangement is continued, Estonia would be able to reach its targets of raising the share of renewable energy of 23% in 2015, and 25% in 2020. This is rising from 2009 levels of 19.5%. Estonian wind parks are currently returning on investment of 16 % to 25%, biomass-fired co-generation plants this was 20% to 28%, and 20% to 41% in five hydro plants.
Although the ministry is not publicising the fee that Sorainen lawyers will be charging for this case, it is understood that their regular rates generally start from 150 Euros an hour. This would corroborate the hourly fee they charged 10 years ago!