During the last ten years consumption of renewable energy resources increased by more than 25 %
Edited: During the last ten years consumption of renewable energy resources increased by more than 25 %
Edited: In 2019 gross consumption of renewable energy sources in Latvia amounted to 75.5 petajoules .
Data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in 2019 gross consumption of renewable energy sources (RES) in Latvia amounted to 75.5 petajoules (PJ). During the five years (2015–2019) consumption of RES has risen by 16.7 %. Reduction in the consumption of RES was influenced by the drop in the volume of energy produced in hydro power plants, which is explained with lower precipitation than it was in 2018.
Fuelwood (firewood, wood waste, wood chips, wood briquettes, pelleted wood) and hydro resources in Latvia are used the most extensively. Increasing consumption of local resources, energy dependency from imported energy resources falls from 63.9 % in 2005 to 44.3 % in 2018.
Fuelwood takes 82 % of the RES consumption of energy resources
In 2019 the share of fuelwood in the gross consumption of RES comprised 82 % (in 2018 – 80,7 %). Consumption of biogas (landfill gas, sewage sludge gas, and other biogas) comprised 3.4 PJ in 2019, which is 7.3 % less than in 2018 (3.6 PJ), and during the five years consumption of biogas has reduced by 8.1 % or 0.3 PJ.
Consumption of fuelwood up by 17.7 % over the past five years
During the last five years, gross consumption of fuelwood increased by 9.3 PJ, reaching 61.9 PJ in 2019, and over the year – reduced by 0.5 %. In 2019, compared to 2018, the volume of wood chips produced went up by 5.8 % or 1.8 PJ. Also exports of fuelwood increased simultaneously. Last year, 39.1 PJ of pelleted wood were exported, which is 26.4 % or 8.2 PJ more than in 2018, and during the last five years exports of pelleted wood rose by 40 %, which is promoted by availability of raw materials and global trend to increase consumption of renewable energy.
Transformation sector is the main consumer of fuelwood – in 2019, fuelwood consumption in transformation sector amounted to 35.4 % of the gross fuelwood consumption. Fuelwood consumption in households comprised 34.4 % of gross wood consumption in 2019, and compared to 2018, consumption of fuelwood at households reduced by 4.9 % or 1.1 PJ. Major consumption of fuelwood in industry and construction was in manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture, sector, consuming 13.7 PJ or 89.3 % of gross fuelwood consumption in industry and construction in 2019.
Upturn in fuelwood consumption in electricity and heat production
During the past five years, the share of RES consumed in the production of electricity and heat in transformation sector2 has grown by 7.4 percentage points, reaching 38.6 % of the gross consumption in this sector in 2019. The rise may be explained by the transition from the natural gas to wood chips in generation of electricity and heat in combined heat and power (CHP) plants. Compared to 2018, consumption of fuelwood in the production of electricity and heat rose by 5.4 %, reaching 21.9 PJ last year. Wood chips take the largest share of fuel used in transformation sector; the share thereof in the consumption of fuelwood amounted to 92.2 % in 2019 reaching 20.2 PJ.
Over the year, volume of electricity produced from RES dropped by 8.8 %
In 2019, 6 438 GWh of electricity were produced in Latvia, of which 3 190 GWh were produced from RES, and, compared to 2018, the volume has dropped by 8.8 %. Last year, 4 174 GWh of electricity were generated in CHP plants, of which 22.2 % were produced from RES (biogas and biomass). During the last five years, the volume of electricity produced in biomass electrical power plants and CHP plants rose from 378 GWh to 575 GWh (by 52.1 %), but the volume produced in biogas CHP plants reduced – from 392 GWh to 353 GWh (by 9.9 %).
Electricity produced in wind power plants increased by 30 GWh
In 2019, compared to 2018, primary electricity produced from RES fell by 11.4 % or 1 PJ. Last year, hydro power plants produced 2 107 GWh, which is 13.4 % or 325 GWh less than in 2018. In wind power plants 152 GWh were produced in 2019, which is 24.6 % or 30 GWh electricity more than in the previous year, but in solar power plants – 3 GWh electricity, which is 3 times more than a year ago.
As use of electric buses, including trolleybuses, is increasing in public transport services sector and the number of electric passenger vehicles registered in Latvia is also growing, consumption of electricity by transport has also risen by 50 % or 14 GWh – in 2019 it reached 42 GWh, in turn, consumption of electricity in trams has remained unchanged.
Latvia has set a target to reach 40 % of the energy produced from RES in the gross final energy consumption until 2020. In 2018, Latvia had the third highest share of RES (40.3 %)3 in the energy consumption in the European Union (EU) after Sweden (54.6 %) and Finland (41.2 %), while the EU4 average indicator constituted 18.0 %.
In 2020 each EU member state had to ensure that energy produced from RES (biofuel, biogas, electricity produced from RES and consumed by transport) comprises at least 10 % of final consumption of energy in transport (in 2018, 4.7 % were reached in Latvia)3. However, share of RES on heating comprised 55.9 % in 2019, which is second highest indicator on heating after Sweden (65.4 %) among all EU member states. In the EU4 renewable energy comprised 19.7 % of gross energy consumed on heating and cooling.
1Energy dependence is calculated as follows: net energy imports divided by gross inland energy consumption plus bunkering
2 Transformation sector includes the volume of energy resources consumed for production and sale of electricity and heat, as well as production of peat briquettes and charcoal.
3 programme „SHARES” elaborated by Eurostat is used for calculations
4 average indicators of the European Union member states on 28 EU member states.