Renwable energy in the city of Tartu

As Tartu uses wood chips in district heating, the system is already almost 100% renewable as only the top load is covered from natural gas. However, in general, ca. 80% of electricity is generated from oil shale, making Estonia’s energy mix a very carbon intensive one. Tartu’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) sets three general strategic objectives – to decrease COemissions, to consume less energy in final consumption and to increase the share of renewable energy. More specifically, the aim is to increase the share of renewable energy from 38% in 2010 to 45% in 2020. This will be achieved through a combination of measures, including:

  • Ensuring a sustainable supply of district heating and cooling that is based on Tartu’s renewable energy sources (RES);
  • Offering district cooling produced from RES in the amount of at least 52,000 MWh, reducing CO2 emissions in the cooling sector by 70%;
  • Using natural gas in heating only when using district heating, solar and geothermal energy is not possible;
  • Reducing heat energy in public buildings by 20%, while electricity is produced 100% from RES;
  • Decreasing energy consumption in the housing sector by 20%, while 10% of consumers use renewable electricity;
  • Renovating street lights so they would use electricity that is produced 100% from RES;
  • Ensuring that heating and electricity consumed in the public sector is produced almost entirely from RES; 
  • Private initiative leads to installing devices that produce electricity from solar power in the amount of 2 MW.