Poll of the week⟩ Do we agree to pay the price of expensive green energy? – weekly

Stanislav Shmachenko, Tallinn

High prices are an impulse to understand that it is impossible to “wet” anyone in the 21st century

Who is willing to pay for green energy is an individual question. We were told that additional costs must be incurred. I am ready to incur additional expenses so that the war ends as soon as possible. You spoiled everyone’s cards. For example, we now need to make the transition to renewables much faster. Not even a transition, but a jump through several steps with the risk of crashing. But we must not allow anyone to arrange wars and crises in Europe if one country wants to impose its will on all. So these high prices in our country are a boost that someone understands that in the 21st century you can’t “wet” anyone. And if Russian alternative energy sources are more expensive, I will pay more.

Author’s comment

How often do we face a choice between having to pay dearly for a high quality of life and being able to suffer cheaply. However, under conditions of continuous growth in electricity prices, it will not be possible to win in any scenario. Namely, events, for a long time we did not rely much on international politics, the adoption of sanctions, embargoes and reports from the seemingly distant front in Ukraine.

The choice between exploiting renewable energy sources and developing the shale industry is a matter of survival. It is clear that today’s energy independence is a guarantee of state sovereignty. This independence can only be ensured by the continuous production of electricity from oil shale. It is no less obvious that the refusal to develop green energy preserves the country’s scientific and technical potential, slows down economic progress and threatens environmental integrity.

Last year, according to the Ministry of Environment, carbon dioxide emissions from our industrial enterprises included in the Atmospheric Emissions Trading System increased by almost 22% compared to 2020, by about 1.2 million tons. On the other hand, the permanent increase in electricity prices can be stopped during 2021 and reached approximately half of 2022 by returning to the shale oil industry.

Of course, oil shale will reduce the cost of electricity production for enterprises, create additional jobs, increase the state compensation package for the population. However, the environmental situation will sometimes deteriorate. This is despite the fact that Estonia already ranks first in the European Union in terms of the amount of hazardous waste per person per year.

With an average of 200 kg, each of us receives 8000 kg of poison per year. About 98% of all hazardous materials are waste rock. So how much do we need expensive green energy? Is not the usual, cheap and harmful rock energy more necessary? We decided to ask the people of Estonia about this. According to the results of the survey, I still find it difficult to make a decision, but I understand that finding a way out of this situation is the main task today. Tomorrow it will be too late.


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