Circular economy with focus on waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy in Estonia

15-05-2017

This briefing reviews Estonia’s progress in the transition to a circular economy, focusing on a three crucial and related policy areas: waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy. A key challenge for Estonia in terms of moving to a circular economy will be to strengthen recycling, as well as high rates of separate collection in cities including Tallinn – Estonia is not on track to meet the EU’s 2020 targets for municipal solid waste recycling. • The share of renewable energy has increased strongly in the past ten years, due mainly to a growth in wind power and biomass, which is used for household heating and for district heating. The intensity of forest use is among the highest in the EU. As a large share of Estonian forests will reach maturity in coming years, Estonia has the capacity to extract greater levels of biomass.

This briefing reviews Estonia’s progress in the transition to a circular economy, focusing on a three crucial and related policy areas: waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy. A key challenge for Estonia in terms of moving to a circular economy will be to strengthen recycling, as well as high rates of separate collection in cities including Tallinn – Estonia is not on track to meet the EU’s 2020 targets for municipal solid waste recycling. • The share of renewable energy has increased strongly in the past ten years, due mainly to a growth in wind power and biomass, which is used for household heating and for district heating. The intensity of forest use is among the highest in the EU. As a large share of Estonian forests will reach maturity in coming years, Estonia has the capacity to extract greater levels of biomass.

External author

Tony Zamparutti, Alicia McNeill, Harri Moora, Maarja Joe and Evelin Piirsalu