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Cablegate: Usg Helps Baltic States Find Their Way to Clean and Green

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTL #0384/01 3310906
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270905Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0247
INFO RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0005
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0012
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0046
RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA 0057
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0001
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN
RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS 0059

UNCLAS TALLINN 000384

SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR S/CIEA
DEPARTMENT FOR S/SECC
DEPARTMENT FOR S/EEE
DEPARTMENT FOR EEB/ESC
DEPARTMENT FOR EEB/CBA
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/ERA
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/NB
COMMERCE FOR ITA/DERSTINE
ENERGY FOR PI/APICELLI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG ECON PGOV EINV EN
SUBJECT: USG HELPS BALTIC STATES FIND THEIR WAY TO CLEAN AND GREEN
ENERGY

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Post and the Department of Energy organized the
Baltic Clean and Green Energy Conference October 14-15 in Tallinn.
The conference brought together more than 150 high level
policymakers, energy technology experts, and industry leaders from
around the region. The discussions focused on leading-edge clean
energy technologies, country-specific opportunities for
diversification of energy resources and energy efficiency. On the
sidelines of the conference, GE Energy's regional representative
noted he does not believe Estonia will go through with building its
own nuclear reactor, as the market is too small. GOE officials
stated their appreciation for the cooperation from the USG and
would like to follow up on the conference's success with a meeting,
"perhaps in Latvia or Lithuania, since they need more help than
us." END SUMMARY.

PRIME MINISTERS HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF CLEAN ENERGY

--------------------------------------------- -----------

2. (U) Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Latvian Prime
Minister Valdis Dombrovskis opened the conference by highlighting
the progress the two countries have made in developing renewable
energy and their plans for the future. PM Ansip underlined in his
speech the importance of new energy technologies in creating
sustainable economic growth and stated he looked forward to
U.S.-Estonian cooperation on oil shale technology. He also
discussed Estonia's plans to take part in the Lithuanian Visaginas
nuclear power plant project, while analyzing the possibility of
building a reactor in Estonia as well.

3. (U) PM Dombrovskis noted that Latvia has the highest usage of
renewable energy in the EU and is committed to raising that share
from one-third currently to 40 percent by 2020. The Latvian PM
stressed that international cooperation on energy technology and
policy is essential to reach a climate change agreement and that
energy will be a top priority when Latvia chairs the Baltic Council
of Ministers in 2010.

4. (U) The U.S. delegation was led by DOE Deputy Assistant
Secretary Alan Hegburg who highlighted U.S. views on global energy
challenges. Other USG participants included representatives from
the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, OPIC, the Department of Commerce and USTDA. Other
speakers included KPMG, AES, Foster Wheeler, GE Energy, the EBRD,
Swedish Energy Agency, Riga Technical University, Estonian
Parliament and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first
day presentations mostly concerned finding suitable renewable
energy technologies for the Baltic countries, especially in wind
power and biomass, and on energy efficiency issues. The second day
provided an overview of financing possibilities for clean energy
projects and also touched on nuclear energy options in the Baltic
area. The conference concluded with interactive break-out sessions
to strategize sustainable energy futures in each of the Baltic
states.

GE: ESTONIAN MARKET TOO SMALL FOR NUCLEAR POWER

--------------------------------------------- --

5. (SBU) After giving a presentation on GE's renewable and clean
energy activities, Ziemowit Iwanski, Central and Eastern Europe


Country Executive for GE Energy, privately told EmbOffs that it is
not feasible for Estonia to have its own nuclear plant as the
market is too small, the cost will be too high and there is no
existing know-how. However, the visit of GE Energy representatives
to Estonia did generate media interest, particularly the statement
by the head of GE Energy's Eastern European sales that the company
is looking to enter the wind park market in Estonia and is planning
to sign the first contract in a year's time. Westinghouse, which
has been working closely with the state-owned power company Eesti
Energia on nuclear power issues, was invited but did not attend the
conference.

FEEDBACK, FOLLOW-UP AND THANKS

------------------------------

6. (U) Post received considerable appreciation for the conference
from the GOE, NGOs and other embassies. Einari Kisel, Deputy
Secretary General for Energy Policy in the Ministry of Economic and
Communications Affairs, praised the conference as a "very valuable
event" and suggested there should be a follow up meeting, "maybe in
Latvia or Lithuania, since they need more help than us."
Additionally, the Danish Embassy used the conference to make
contacts and develop ideas for their November 11 renewable energy
conference in Tallinn.

7. (U) Post thanks DOE for putting together a very informative
conference program with high-level speakers. Post also would like
to thank counterparts in neighboring countries for developing
invitee lists and promoting the conference outside of Estonia.
DECKER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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