Electricity production

1. Interim report: Analysis of current situation

Estonia is one of the world's largest producers of oil shale, and the majority, nearly 85.8% of the local electricity production is based on that. In electricity production, the traditional dust burning method is relinquishing their priority status to production of oil, which byproducts can significantly increase the total utilization of oil shale energy-chain efficiencies. In electricity production and supply, the changing climate conditions have dual effect. On one hand, the decreasing temperatures of the winter months lessen the need for additional power consumption needed for heating the buildings. On the other hand, increasing summer temperatures higher the need for cooling the buildings, and thus increase in power consumption during summer months will occur. Conversely, the colder it is during autumn, winter and spring, the more electricity is produced. Also the amount of rainfall affect the production of electricity - the more it rains, the more water is needed to be pumped out of mines. The drier and hotter the summer, the more cooling water is consumed by the power stations, but there is a risk of not enough water available. Dry and hot weather can cause self-ignition of oil shale storage. Climate warming leads to more frequent thunderstorms, which can cause some failures in the proper functioning of the substations, also worsen the electricity supply which in turn paralyzes the economic sectors, can led to reduction in consumption, and so on. Climate change adaptation measures have been implemented and are applied in the production, design and location choice of electrical equipments. This for instance means that the power plants have been already constructed so that the wind can not affect the electricity production and operation equipment. Modern production equipment and units operate normally smoothly because the seasonal changes in climatic factors have already been taken into account within their design phase. The amount of renewable energy sources are growing rapidly year by year reaching up to 12,4% out of all the electricity production in 2013. The biggest affect caused by climatic factors in terms of reneawable energy production, is the effect of wind speed on the production of wind turbines, and the effect of rainfall on the production capacity of the hydroenergy plants.

2. Interim report: Climate change impact assessment (including analysis of possible risks and vulnerability)

Electricity production at present time is mostly not vulnerable to climate change as the local fossil fuel, oil shale is used and power production facilities built taking into account local weather conditions.  There will be the change of paradigm towards the generation of electricity from the by-products of oil production. Still, any out of climatic actors do not and will not impact negatively to oil shale based  electricity generation which will last up to mid of present century. In the second half of the century renewable energy resources will take over the lion’s share with hydrogen, wind and solar enetering to power market with full speed. In particular combination of these three resources will give a huge positive effect to diffused and clean generation. No pollution, instead energy cumulation starts to come into everyday life. Most important role will be playing the fuel cells functioning on hydrogen.

Wind energy will be vulnerable to climatic actors, however the technological development will eliminate thse factors. Solar energy will be developing  very fast and in the second half of century the number of micro and ministations producing electricity is dominating in smaller scale. Energy of falling water will not be much impacted by change of climatic actors. So does also biomaass as the electricity generation based on biomas is in-side activity.

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