Eesti Energia has invested around 12 million euros in research and development
Eesti Energia invested 11.9 million euros in research and development (R&D) last year, focusing on reducing the environmental footprint of its operations and developing smarter and more useful services for customers.
Eesti Energia’s goal is to reach carbon neutrality by 2045 and in this way develop a carbon-neutral chemical industry based on the circular economy. Therefore, the most significant R&D efforts focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from production equipment, improving product quality, and environmental research. The Group’s R&D investments increased by half a million euros during the year.
According to Kaarel Kuusk, Head of Partnerships in the Group, the volume of investments made for R&D and the focus topics express the company’s long-term strategic ambition to offer customers smart solutions and to replace oil shale-based energy production with a circular economy and carbon-neutral chemical industry.
‘Eesti Energia’s commitment to the carbon neutrality target is demonstrated by both record investments in renewable energy and increased contribution to R&D work. The energy world is becoming technologically more complex every year. This creates more and more opportunities to offer customers smart solutions that promote the green transition and money saving,’ noted Kuusk. ‘Last year, we also took several steps forward on the journey towards carbon-neutral production, in order to completely transform the current production of liquid fuels based on oil shale into a circular chemical industry by 2040.’
More than 90% of R&D investments remained in Estonia. In 2023, Eesti Energia will continue to focus on R&D activities related to the chemical industry and the circular economy and plans to contribute more financially to R&D activities. Among the most important topics are, for example, the use of plastic waste as a raw material for the chemical industry and the capture of carbon dioxide from energy production equipment. We will also continue to develop smart services and contribute to the popularisation of the energy sector among young people.
For example, Eesti Energia developed an application in cooperation with data scientists from the University of Tartu, which will enable the company to offer customers solutions based on their needs and real consumption profile in the future.
Mihkel Solvak, associate professor of technology research at the University of Tartu, pointed out that the R&D problems offered by Eesti Energia are both interesting and practical. ‘Eesti Energia owns a large amount of unique data that can be used to test ideas that could not otherwise be tested anywhere else in Estonia. Interesting problems in combination with unique data make Eesti Energia a very attractive partner for research,’ Solvak explained.
TalTech became Eesti Energia’s biggest R&D partner last year, and active cooperation is also ongoing with the University of Tartu. The company also cooperates with international technology and design companies in the field of research and development.
Eesti Energia belongs to several associations that stand for innovation, such as the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, the Estonian Circular Economy Industries Association, 2% Club of the Estonian Employers’ Confederation, Innovation Leaders Club and Estonian Plastics Association. Estonia also participates in several international R&D projects, where the focus is on innovative solutions for charging electric cars and renovating apartment buildings.