Consumption of renewables gone up by 14.1 % over the past decade
Data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in 2016 gross consumption of renewable energy resources in Latvia constituted 68.7 petajoules (PJ). Compared to 2015, the consumption of renewables has risen by 5.7 %, whereas over the past ten years – by 14.1 %.
As the gross consumption of renewable resources (mainly formed by domestic energy resources) increased, Latvian dependence1 upon imported energy resources reduced – from 66.7 % in 2006 to 51.2 % in 2015.
Significant increase was recorded in consumption of biogas (landfill gas, sewage sludge gas, other biogas) – 12.7 times during the decade, reaching 3.8 PJ in 2016.
Consumption of renewable energy resources in Latvia
Over the decade, the gross consumption of fuelwood has increased by 9.3 %, reaching 54.3 PJ in 2016, whereas compared to 2015 it has gone up by 3.2 %. In 2016, the share of fuelwood in the gross energy consumption accounted for 29.4 %, which is 0.8 percentage points more than in 2015. In the same time, the exports of fuelwood rose. In 2016, Latvia exported 37.9 PJ of fuelwood, which is 12.6 % more than in 2015. Wood pellets constituted 29.3 PJ of the total volume of fuelwood exported in 2016, which is 4.7 % more than in 2015, whereas the volume of wood chips exported rose by 79.4 %.
The highest consumption of fuelwood still was recorded in household sector, however it has declined by 41.6 % during the decade, constituting 34.6 % of the gross consumption of fuelwood in 2016. Compared to 2006, in 2016 the volume of fuelwood consumed in industry and construction has risen 2.7 times (last year, fuelwood consumption in the sectors constituted 25.4 % of the gross fuelwood consumption).
Consumption of fuelwood in Latvia
(in per cent)
During the decade, the share of renewable resources consumed for the production of electricity and heat in transformation sector has grown by 18.6 percentage points, in 2016 reaching 33.1 % of the gross consumption in this sector. Compared to 2015, the consumption of fuelwood in transformation sector has gone up by 22.0 %. From 2006 to 2016, fuelwood consumption in transformation sector has risen 2.5 times, reaching 18.0 PJ last year. The largest share (88.2 %) of the consumed fuelwood is taken by wood chips that reached 15.9 PJ in 2016. It may be explained by the growing number of combined heat and power (CHP) plants and share of renewable sources in the transformation sector and reduction of the share of natural gas.
In 2016, 3 482 GWh of electricity were produced from the renewable resources, and, compared to 2015, the volume has risen by 25.4 %. In 2016, due to the higher inflow of rivers the volume of electricity produced in hydro power plants constituted 2 530 HGh – 36.0 % more than in 2015. Over the decade, the volume of electricity produced in wind power plants has increased from 46 to 128 GWh or 178.3 %, the volume produced in biomass electrical power plants and CHP plants has risen from 7 to 427 GWh, and the volume produced in biogas CHP plants – from 36 to 397 GWh.
Electricity produced from renewable energy resources
(in gigawatt hours)
Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources stipulated that the share of renewable sources in gross energy consumption in 2020 should comprise 40 %. Latvia has the third highest share of renewables in the energy consumption in the European Union (the highest share was recorded in Sweden (53.9 %) and the second largest in Finland (39,3 %)); in 2015, Latvian indicator constituted 37.6 % (EU average – 16.7 %). Moreover, State in 2020 each Member should ensure that the share of energy from renewable sources (biofuel, biogas, electricity produced from renewable sources and consumed in transport) comprises at least 10 % of the final energy consumption in transport (in 2015 Latvia reached 3.9 %).
1Energy dependence is calculated as follows: net energy imports (imports minus exports) divided by gross inland energy consumption plus fuel supplied to international maritime bunkers.