Estonia intends to stick with biomethane-powered buses after 2030
The EU plans to cut trucks and buses emissions by 90% until 2040. Additionally, 100% of city buses must be zero-emission vehicles until 2030.
Liisa Pakosta, head of the Riigikogu's European Union Affairs Committee, said Estonia generally agreed with the block's climate goals, but it still found it preferable to use biomethane in the transport sector after 2030.
She said this would still help the country meet its climate goals.
"And now Estonia is standing up in the EU in these negotiations to support and develop the production of biomethane in Estonia as a very environmentally friendly fuel, so that we can continue to have these buses and so that we can continue to use it in the transport sector. As far as biomethane is concerned, we very clearly want the European Union to take our position into account, and we believe that it will be successful," she explained.
Silver Sillak, adviser to the Ministry of the Environment's climate department, said negotiations had only just started but biomethane was a "niche product" in the EU.
"It may well be that Estonia is a bit on its own here," he said.
Kaido Padari, head of Tallinn Transport, (TLT) said the share of biomethane in Tallinn's city buses was currently 39%. He said TLT wanted to increase its share over the coming year.
"In fact, this kind of entrepreneurship is taking on a new form, with more and more, as they say, domestic gas being produced. Until autumn, biomethane could be around 60% and until summer of next year it could be 100%. So the 350 buses that are on Tallinn's roads would use 100% biogas," said Padar.
Sillak went on to say that it was only a matter of time before electric buses are introduced in Estonia, and that, in future, they would be seen alongside biogas-powered buses on the streets there.
"We have created the first rounds of grants through the Environmental Investment Center, through which local government can buy electric buses, and I'm sure they'll start to appear very soon because the technology is quite ready. Other countries are already doing it very actively," he said.