Estonian eco-innovation performance has increased steadily throughout 2013-2015. The highest development can be seen in the Eco-Innovation Scoreboard indexes for socio-economic outcomes and eco-innovation activities, which continuously perform above the EU average. Despite these positive trends, Estonia still scores below EU average overall, mostly due to resource-intensive industrial structure, lack of seed funding opportunities for early-stage start-ups and low level of media coverage on eco-innovation subjects.

While in general Estonia does not target eco-innovation in policy documents specifically, the smart specialisation strategy, together with the Estonian research, development and innovation (RD&I) Strategy 2014-2020 and Entrepreneurship Growth Strategy 2014-2020, aim to tackle the major barriers of the Estonian innovation system, which also hold back eco-innovation. The biggest potential for eco-innovation initiatives within the smart specialisation framework arises in the areas of ICT, as an enabler of eco-innovative ICT solutions, and the use of smart technologies for more efficient resource management in the building and energy sectors. The field has seen numerous eco-innovation solutions in the past few years, largely due to initiatives that have raised awareness and the financial support available for companies.

Despite the newness of the term circular economy, the most recent policy initiatives in the field, notably the Estonian National Waste Management Plan 2014-2020, have already adopted the underlying principles of circular economy – for example, aiming to reduce the amount of waste produced and recycling it to the maximum level.

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Estonia




Electric Mobility Programme of Estonia

Labels: Estonia

Estonia_GPE_ElectricMobilityOn the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications the Electric Mobility Programme was launched. The aim of the programme was to introduce the electric cars as environmentally friendly transport in Estonia using the funds of the Assigned Amount Units of Kyoto protocol trade system.

The programme was launched in the beginning of 2011 and should be implemented by the end of 2012. The Programme includes three parts:
1) the Ministry of Social Affairs will take into use 507 Mitsubishi iMiev electric cars as samples.
The first five electric cars were given to the social workers on 21 October 2011. The cars are specially customized for cold climates. In the first application round, the Ministry of Social Affairs received applications for 379 electric cars, while additional applications are expected from local governments for the remaining 128 cars. The first 50 Mitsubishi i-MiEV cars will be in users’ hands in 2011 already, while the remaining 457 will arrive during spring and summer 2012.
2) the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will develop the grant scheme to support acquisition of electric cars.
In the framework of the electric car project, individuals and legal persons are eligible for up to €18,000 of support for the purchase, made possible by Foundation KredEx. In addition, up to 1,000 euros support is being provided for charger purchases and related installation. The support is being provided for purchasing an electric car from a country in the European Economic Area or Switzerland and bearing a European Union type approval. The car must have at least a two-year warranty, the battery, a five-year warranty, and the applicant must be the first owner of the car.
3) charging infrastructure for electric cars, covering the whole territory of Estonia, will be built.
Estonia will also get a network of quick charging networks for the electric cars – around 200 of them countrywide. The chargers will be installed along all primary and secondary roads at a 40-60 kilometre interval and in all cities and settlements with at least 3,000 inhabitants. An international public procurement is under way to establish the charging network, and the winner will be determined by the end of the year. In addition to installing the quick chargers, ordinary chargers will also be installed at all local governments participating in the project, for convenient charging during working hours.

Barriers and Drivers

The main barrier is the twice higher price of the electric car comparing with the internal combustion engine cars. The reason for high purchasing price is the hightehcnological battery, which forms about 40-50% of the car total price. When the social workers will get the cars as sample cars for their everyday use, then the cars purchased under the grant scheme need to be cofinanced 50% by the customer and this makes the grant scheme not very popular in Estonia.
The only driver is the grant scheme itself, which supports the decision to buy an electric car with 50% from the total price. People are afriad to buy electric cars due to the unclear behaviour of the car in the cold winter climate conditions.

Economic Performance

The economic impact is unclear as the use of electric cars are in first hand focused to serve the environmental impact. On the other side the economic impact will show up in the low maintenance costs.

Environmental Performance

The use of electric cars should support decreasing the CO2 emissions and protect environment from toxic gases.

Further Information, (in Estonian)

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Eco Innovation in Practice in Estonia

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