Pentus-Rosimannus: Oil shale-based electricity production must end by 2040

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.

Activist: Estonia could take leading role in fight against waste, pollution

"The first stage of exiting oil shale based electricity production is the creation of a Fund for the Future, which targets Ida-Viru County, collects charges for using natural resources and invests in important forward-looking developments," she added.

Stalnuhhin: Abandoning oil shale energy would jeopardise entire Northeast

Centre Party MP Mihhail Stalnuhhin, however, said that before starting to collect signatures for the closing down of the sector, one should consider what will happen to the 13,000 or so residents of Northeastern Estonia who will lose their jobs as a result, according to spokespeople for the Centre Party.

Stalnuhhin said that he finds it impossible to understand how someone can come up with a proposal like this, signed digitally by 1,079 people, if the proposal would jeopardise 6,000 jobs in a specific sector plus another 7,000 related jobs.

He added that the best means for increasing employment in an industrial region like Ida-Viru County is the development of industrial parks.

"Second, what needs to be done is the developing of infrastructure," the Centre MP said. "As someone who travels from Narva to Tallinn and back from Tallinn to Narva every week, I can say that the infrastructure is currently not consistent with requirements."

Stalnuhhin described energy as a sector that each country needs to have on its own, independent of others.

"If it were up to me, Eesti Energia would start building new generating units at the Narva power plants tomorrow," he said. "But since the Riigikogu has formulated its stance on oil shale energy already, I would recommend even greater attention be paid to the chemical industry. We talked about energy alone. We need to talk about two things — oil shale energy and oil shale chemical industry. The two are connected with each other, they are very closely related, and the latter of them may have a bigger chance of surviving than the former. Labour, skilled labour for the oil shale chemical industry, can be taken from the energy sector as well."

Stalnuhhin recalled that there was a time when one in six residents of Narva worked at Kreenholm Manufacturing Company, a local textile factory. The loss of these jobs did not concern anyone, he said; nobody paid attention to it.

"It was our problem — the local government's problem, the problem of the people who lost their job," the Centre MP said. "Nobody acknowledged it as the state's problem. Two years ago, the situation began to change, and the state started paying greater attention to Ida-Viru County."

The Riigikogu on Tuesday discussed the prospect of Estonia abandoning oil shale-based energy as a matter of significant national importance.

Read more news of Tallinn on our site.

err.ee
OIL. SHALEKEIT PENTUS-ROSIMANNUS
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in march
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Politics
Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Society
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
Society
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
Society
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
Society
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
Society
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Society
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Society
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
Society
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...