Waste incineration plans of state power company Eesti Energia that plans to import waste from abroad would cost Estonian consumers up to 1.7 million euros a year in subsidies, writes Eesti Päevaleht.
This means that Estonian power consumers would be subsidising burning Finnish and British garbage in Eesti Energia’s waste-to-energy incineration unit in Iru. Eesti Energia has said that it plans to apply for co-generation subsidy of EUR 32 per MWh for incinerating waste. In addition, the company could be eligible for EUR 53.7 per MWh in renewable energy fee because part of the waste is biodegradable.
Eesti Energia’s two foreign partners GemiFin Oy from Finland and Mid UK Recycling Ltd from UK have already submitted applications to Estonian environmental authorities to import a total of 86,000 tonns of municipal waste that is packaged in drums and delieved by vessel. Eesti Energia needs to import waste because the annual incineration capacity of the Iru unit is 220,000 tons of garbage, while Estonia generates 300,000 tons of waste a year.
Commenting the case, Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi said that the important thing was to make sure that energy is produced in an efficient manner.
“In this matter, we have a boiler that partly burns Finnish garbage. Incineration is paid for by the Finnish consumer and our consumer can buy cheaper thermal heat. In case of co-generation, it is not important if the boiler is fuelled by Russian gas, Finnish garbage or Estonian peat although I prefer to protect Estonian bogs and avoid dependency on gas.”