Wind park on old oil-shale mining area
About this good practice
North-East Estonia is Estonia’s main oil shale mining region for decades which has led to creation of techno-industrial landscapes on old mining areas and of areas that were (or still are) being used for depositing residue material from oil-shale mining process. The area has several gangue hills of various heights as well as dip slip areas where the old mining shafts have collapsed. This has rendered a lot of local landspace unusable for agricultural and forestry purposes.
Building wind parks on top of higher gangue hills is one of possible uses for these anthropogenic new landscapes. The building of Aidu wind park on the territory of former Aidu mine started in 2016 and was completed last year. It is one of the onshore biggest wind parks in the Baltic states.
Main stakeholders and beneficiaries of the practice?
- Local municipality receives revenue annually
- Local citizens and municipality can use renewable energy
- Indirect - energy produced is used more widely by Estonian Population
The wind park was fully a private investment.
Evidence of success
Novel use for anthropogenic landscapes which otherwise struggle to find use.
Additional income and jobs in the small local municipality.
New jobs in renewable energy sector in the area support the transition away from oil-shale energy.
Potential for learning or transfer
There is a potential for knowledge transfer on multiple angles. One is getting private sector to fully invest in building an on-shore wind park. Second, finding novel use for disturbed, anthropogenic landscapes that are not usable by traditional means. And third, is supporting and implementing ways for energy transition in an area that has relied heavily on fossil fuel industry for more than a century.