On consumption of renewable energy sources in Latvia in 2011

04.09.2012

Energy balance data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia indicates that renewable energy sources (RES) comprised 60 gigajoules of the total energy consumption of Latvian in 2011 (66 gigajoules in 2010).  

In compliance with the European Parliament and Council Regulation No 2009/28/EC on facilitation of the RES use, Latvia has to ensure that the share of the energy produced from RES should constitute 40% of the gross final energy consumption in 2020 (in 2009 34.3% were reached, while in 2010 – 32.6%).

Main RES types are firewood and hydro resources, comprising one third of the total consumption of energy resources in 2011.Wind energy, biogas, biofuel and other biomass are RES consumed less commonly.Solar energy currently is used on small scale and only as pilot projects.

Share of selected RES in total RES consumption in Latvia; 2011 (per cent)

Share of firewood in the energy resource consumption of Latvia traditionally has formed large part due to the wide availability of the resource. Firewood comprises more than 80% of the energy resources produced in Latvia.

Use of the RES has several potential advantages, includingreduction of greenhouse gas emissions, variety of available energy types, as well as smaller dependence upon imported energy resources (mainly from natural gas and oil products). Growth of the RES may also possibly increase employment in the country, creating new workplaces in the field of “green” technologies.

Electricity production from selected RES, GWh

If compared to the previous year, the volume of electricity produced from RES in 2011 has diminished by 15% and comprised only 41.93% of the total electricity consumption. The drop is related with the reduction of energy generated by hydroelectric power plants (2887 (GWh) in 2011, if compared to 3520 GWh in 2010). Whereas several new biogas CHP plants were established, and, if compared to 2010, the amount of electricity produced from biogas in 2011 has grown by 88% and reached 107 GWh per year (57 GWh in 2010).

 

Electrical capacity in hydropower plants, wind and other power plants and CHP plants consuming RES

 

 

 

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2011

 

Electrical capacity (MW)

Total

1 487

1 508

1 515

1 572

1 622

1642

Hydropower plants

1 487

1 507

1 513

1 536

1 576

1576

Wind power plants

-

1

2

26

30

36

Biomass* power plants

-

-

-

3

5

5

Biogas  power plants

-

-

-

7

11

25

* Biomass—firewood, wood wastes, wood pellets, biodiesel, straw, grain, manure, peat, maize etc.

In 2011 RES (fuelwood, other biomass, biogas, and biodiesel) comprised 17.2% of the total fuel consumed in the transformation sector (amount of energy resources for the production of electricity and production of heat for sale). Due to the warm winter the share of RES used in the CHP plants has diminished by 2.5%, if compared to 2010.

European Parliament and Council Regulation No 2009/28/EC on enhancing the RES use sets that every Member State in 2020 should ensure that the share of energy produced from RES (biofuel, biogas, electricity produced from RES and consumed in transport) should constitute at least 10% of the final consumption of energy in transport (in 2009 Latvia reached 1.2% and 3.3% in 2010).

 

Prepared by the Environment and Energy Statistics Section
Jana Poperečņuka
Tel. 67366957