The country’s Ministry of Defence has decided to ban large scale solar plants in some regions bordering Russia claiming that these facilities may affect radio system performance. State-owned utility Eesti Energia is opposing this measure, stating the interested regions are the most suitable for the construction of big solar plants.
As part of a project headed by the European Space Agency investigating materials for long-term missions, scientists in Estonia are investigating a tiny iron-based crystal as a potential solar cell material. So far, the material has not achieved the sort of efficiency that would spark a lot of interest. These researchers, however, are interested in it for a different reason: Beyond planet Earth, the material is abundant enough that it could eventually be manufactured on the Moon or even Mars.
The 5.5%-efficient cell was fabricated through a low-temperature, two-step manufacturing process that is compatible with existing window glass manufacturing technology. Cells made with 70nm antimony trisulfide films achieved the best fill factor of around 57%, while the highest power conversion efficiencies were achieved with films ranging from 70 to 100nm.
Estonian start-up Roofit.solar recently raised €6.4 million from a group of investors led by Germany’s Baywa r.e. The company will use the funds to commercialize its three BIPV modules with power outputs of 110 to 160 W. All products rely on a 0.5 mm metal back sheet with highly durable pural coating.
The generator can be combined with batteries, solar panels, or small wind turbines. It is based on a proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology and is claimed to have a minimum lifetime of 5,000 working hours.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have seen uneven development in PV installations to date, and the three Baltic states are still highly dependent on imports from Russia. Estonia needs to replace aging energy infrastructure, and so far it has led the region in PV deployments. Latvia, meanwhile, has a high level of hydro in its energy mix, and less incentive to build PV. IHS Markit analyst Susanne von Aichberger examines the latest policy developments in the Baltic states.
Estonia relies heavily on oil shale, which accounts for 4% of the country’s GDP. The Baltic state is working to increase green hydrogen production, but PV is projected to maintain a marginal role despite the recent growth. We spoke about it with Estonian energy company Alexela and cleantech start-up PowerUP Energy Technologies.
While solar, wind and hydro generated 80 TWh more electricity last year than in 2019, coal and oil use fell in every EU member state, and Greek energy emissions fell almost 19%.
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