Interreg Europe RESINDUSTRY project has been the first project for Tartu Regional Energy Agency that is aimed so clearly at the industrial sector, so far we have, in addition to our main focus that is aimed for residential sector and municipalities, worked with district heating and heat supply, small renewable energy production and as well consulted smaller companies in these matters.

From starting of preparing proposal for RESINDUSTRY and by start of project there has been one Ministry of the Environment’s policy instrument in focus that is has been only relevant instrument for industry where renewables can be supported. Measure energy and resource productivity has been a well thought out and comprehensive measure for industries as in consists of support for energy and resource audit and implementation support than can be applied by audit.

As RESINDUSTRY aims to increase the energy independence of the EU industry sector, by decreasing its energy intensity through a higher integration of RES we already saw that integrating more renewable energy perspective into measure could give better outcome for measure and as well match RESINDUSTRY’s goal perfectly.

So from starting of the project in summer 2018 we have worked to move towards greater consideration for renewable energy and the use of more renewable energy in industry in the future. To achieve that goal there has been three pillars to help to move towards goal. We see that better cooperation mainly between ministry and industry sector, but has well inter-ministerial cooperation is needed. Secondly, national and international exchange of experiences with best practice introduction is that helps encourage industry sectors participants and ministry to discover novel and efficient solutions. Both of previous activities need to be supported by research and data.

To achieve that we have had already five international workshops and three study visits, two study visits postponed due to COVID-19 still waiting to happen in spring 2022. All partners have identified multiple best practices and introduced them to other partners and their stakeholders to introduce effective solutions on implementing renewable energy in industries. It has been just as important that collaboration and experience exchange between partners to improve each other has worked to support activities. For introducing international and national experiences, as well improve cooperation between different national parties local stakeholder group meetings have been successful tools. Regional assessment and market analysis “Estonia Market Analysis of energy intensive industries and RES integration potential” are already valuable studies for preparing the action plan. In addition to that it is planned questionnaire and interview’s-based study on the use of renewable energy sources in the industrial sector to get input from industry sector of their perspective and needs for implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. We and managing authority of policy instrument saw the need for to get up to date input due considering changes of the energy market, especially as in 2021 energy prices, electricity and natural gas, are increased enormously in Estonia and as well COVID-19 influences.

Even that RESINDUSTRY project has been located between two European funding periods and COVID-19 era that has change initial plans, we see that with upcoming action plan we are moving to right direction, even as Estonian and EU structural have taken long time and most of measures can’t be opened before 2023. So far well worked resource productivity measure is planned to be continued in slightly modified from under 2021-2027 EU cohesion policy objective 2 - a greener, low‑carbon transitioning towards a net zero carbon economy. Action Plan prepared in RESINDUSTRY for policy instrument, developing the policy instrument, will be finished in spring 2022.

Photo Author: Martin Kikas