Green gas produced in Estonia taken up in Pärnu

04. May 2018 | 17:08

Since 1 May, the urban bus services in Pärnu have been using bio-methane or green gas produced in Estonia as fuel. The festive opening of the project will be today, 4 May, at 11:00 at the new bus station of Pärnu. EIC supported the Pärnu County Public Transport Centre project with EUR 673,884 under the Cohesion Fund of the European Union.

The introduction of the use of bio-methane in public transport is a real step towards achieving the 2020 renewable energy transportation goal. For this purpose, a special support programme has been developed. “We are extremely pleased that Pärnu is the first to take up the green gas option and we welcome even more the fact that the next step will be to introduce the use of green fuel in rural transport services throughout the county,” said Veiko Kaufmann, Director of EIC.

The call for proposals to support the introduction of bio-methane in public transport is still open and all local public transport centres can apply for support covering the difference between the price of the biofuel. Applications can be filed online via the e-support environment.

While to date the spread of green fuels has been limited due to the scarcity of filling stations, then after completion of the 15 stations that have received support almost all regions of Estonia will be covered with the requisite infrastructure. All operators of stations that were supported are under an obligation to provide bio-methane. “Already today, compressed gas can be used for filling at the Alexela-operated Võru and Jüri stations and soon bio-methane will be added to their service list,” said Siim Umbleja, Head Coordinator of Energy at EIC. The distribution network will be further expanded by the end of the year – soon bio fuel will be available for filling in Tallinn, Jõhvi, Rakvere, and Viljandi.

EIC will shortly open a third call for proposals t expedite the building of bio-methane filling stations. This call for proposals will be published in national media and on the homepage of EIC with applications to be submitted via the e-support environment.

Background information

Green gas or bio-methane is produced from biogas. Biogas is a gas emerging as a result of fermentation processes that is a normal part of our living environment, consisting mainly in methane and carbon dioxide.

The State has already supported, via EIC, the establishment of 15 stations with bio-methane filling capability with a total of EUR 2,67 million under the EU Cohesion Fund. The support programme is still open and its goal is the proliferation of the use of renewable transport fuels, which will also create the necessary prerequisites for starting up local production of methane fuel gas. The support measure was developed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Establishing 15 filling stations across Estonia will result in an increase in the use of gas as a transport fuel since compressed gas will be offered in parallel to bio-methane at the filling stations being built. It is estimated that the introduction of the use of bio-methane will reduce the release of fossil CO2 emissions in Estonia by 16,000 t in the next ten years.

Estonia has set the goal of raising renewable energy use in the transportation sector to 10% by the year 2020. Bio-methane is more environmentally friendly and in the long-term perspective more stable price-wise than imported fuels and its use helps to improve Estonia’s energy security.