This review of Estonia’s energy policies analyses the energy policy challenges and
opportunities facing Estonia, and provides critiques and recommendations for future
policy improvements. It finds that Estonia is actively seeking to reduce the intensity
of its energy system. Many of these efforts are focused on oil shale, which the country
has been using for almost a century and which meets 70% of its energy demand. While
it provides a large degree of energy security, oil shale is highly carbon-intensive.
The government is seeking to lessen the negative environmental impact by phasing out
old power plants and developing new technologies to reduce significantly CO2 emissions.The
efforts on oil shale complement Estonia’s solid track record of modernising its overall
energy system. Since restoring its independence in 1991, Estonia has fully liberalised
its electricity and gas markets and attained most national energy policy targets and
commitments for 2020. It has also started preparing its energy strategy to 2030, with
an outlook to 2050. Estonia is also promoting energy market integration with neighbouring
EU member states.