Till the beginning of 2022, Estonia installed over 500 MW of solar parks compared to approximately 15 MW installed in Latvia. These numbers very clearly show how the solar energy market will evolve in Latvia in the next two to three years.
Latvia is dependent on and affected by the same fluctuations of energy production as Estonia but still, the number of installed solar parks is one of the lowest in Europe per any assessment ratio.
What has happened in Estonia in the past years in the solar energy sector?
The construction of the first contemporary solar parks in Estonia took place approximately ten to fifteen years ago which is probably the same as it was in Latvia.
However, there have been two rapid developments of solar parks that brought solar energy to the forefront in Estonia.
The first wave came with the state subsidy for up to 200kW solar parks that had to be built before the end of 2018. It was not as big as the second wave, but it served as an eye-opening investment opportunity for lots of companies.
The second wave came in 2020 when the subsidy was for up to 50kW solar parks. This subsidy also pushed private customers and small companies to make thousands of such solar parks.
By the end of the year, it looked like a gold rush where everyone tried to build their own solar park. And that was for a good reason because the companies that used more energy than they produced had a return of investment of approximately 5 years with at least 20 years of free electricity waiting for them. Even the ones that sold all the electricity had a return of investment time of 7-8 years.
And that was when electricity cost was one-third of what it costs now, meaning that all those calculations are financially far more profitable right now.
Now the grid owners in Estonia are handling more than 2000 applications with allegedly more than 700MW still waiting for the permit to join the grid. Will they all get the connection? Unfortunately, no. The grid power is limited, and it works on a first come first serve basis. In Estonia, the grid capacity is exhausted.
What Latvians can learn from this Estonian experience?
In Estonia, it is pretty much impossible to get a connection to the grid at a reasonable price. All the free capacity in the grid is full. The ones who had the foresight to apply for the connection will be able to build something, otherwise, the connection is limited to 15kW until the State will build a more powerful grid. But this development will take around three to five years.
We have to act fast and have to act now! All the companies that have big production sites or unused land should apply for a solar park connection from the grid owner. Even if you are not ready to build anything right now you still have the control that you can do so in the future.
Another option is to make a joint company interested in building it for you. Or sell the connection later in the worst case.
The biggest advantage now is for the agricultural and forestry companies with the biggest amount of free land in the country. If you apply now for the grid connection, it doesn’t mean you have to build the solar park right away. You will have permission to do so if you decide to build a solar park in a year or two. Our experience in Estonia shows that the country runs out of grid connections fast and the ones who prepared in advance for this are the winners.
The electricity prices will continue to grow and fluctuate. What solar energy can provide is free energy! Producing your own electricity also means increased energy security and independence. Solar energy is one of the best investment opportunities right now. It is an investment that is much more stable than any stock or bond.
We urge you not to delay the first conversations about your personal road to free electricity. To get to know about the best solution for yourself or your company please contact us, and we will be happy to help you.
Sunergia Group is a Latvian-Estonian solar park construction company that has installed over 10 MW before 2022 and has right now more than double of that installation in Latvia and Estonia. The biggest solar parks in construction in Latvia are 1.1 MW, 700 kW, and 300 kW.
Sunergia provides turnkey solar park development starting from free consultations and financial calculations to project design and actual construction to final documentation. We have built hundreds of solar parks on various grounds and every possible roof there is. Sunergia is also the official partner of Electrum Estonia for the construction of solar parks.