The production of electricity from oil shale in Estonia must end by 2040, Reform Party MP and former Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said in the Riigikogu on Tuesday.
"Everyone who grasps the severity of global climate tensions understands that the time for energy production that imposes an environmental burden is coming to an end," Pentus-Rosimannus said at the Riigikogu's discussion of oil shale production as an issue of national importance on Tuesday.
Polluting means of electricity generation are becoming increasingly more expensive due to global policy on carbon emissions, she noted, decreasing their competitiveness compared to clean energy.
"If we wish to be among the states that have a clean economy in the future, the time of generating electricity by contaminating means must come to an end in Estonia," Pentus-Rosimannus said.
"In terms of cost and unreasonableness, facing the future with energy that pollutes the environment is the same as facing a hovertrain with a steam engine," the Reform MP said, adding that in the short term, it may seem nostalgic to keep going, engulfed in puffs of smoke, but soon enough it will become clear that other states are moving quickly and gaining ground in significantly better conditions.
Pentus-Rosimannus said that the transition from oil shale-based electricity needs to be known long enough in advance that the necessary preparations can be made in Ida-Viru County.
"If we want Estonia to be free of the polluting oil shale-based electricity by 2040, the decision needs to be made in the next few years," she said, noting that leaving a couple of decades for consideration grants the country the opportunity to reorganise employment related to oil shale-based electricity production.