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Solid biomass in Latvia

General
Large scale hydro-energy is the dominant RES-E energy technology (94% of all RES-E in 2004). Technologies increasing in importance are small-scale hydropower and onshore wind power. Biomass (wood) is used in centralized, local and individual heating systems, and its share in energy supply (heating and electricity production) was 45 % in 2004.

The Latvian energy policy has been laid down in the strategy paper ‘Guidelines for Development of Energy Sector for 2007-2016’. Main topic are to ensure security of supply, improve infrastructure, implement energy efficiency measures and to increase effective use of renewable sources of energy and energy production in cogeneration (CHP) processes.

From the EU Structural Funds approximately EUR 140 million is to be allocated to the energy sector (2007 - 2013), mainly to be used for increasing efficiency of district heating systems, for development of cogeneration plants that use biomass and for the development of wind farms.

According to the Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the year 2020 for Latvia is 40% (in the year 2005 the share was 32.6%). The Directive has a mandatory 10 % target for transport to be achieved by all Member States, which refers to renewable sources as a whole, not biofuels alone.

Renewable energy projections according to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Latvia
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Latvia was submitted in October 2010. The target according to Annex I of Directive 2009/28/EC is 40% for the year 2020 and the projected NREAP share in that year exactly matches the target.  According to the projection, the most important contribution in the year 2020 is expected from biomass (renewable heating and cooling) (1392 ktoe, 73% of all renewable energy). Second important contribution is expected from hydropower (3.1 TWh or 262 ktoe, 14% of all renewable energy). The third largest contribution is from biomass (renewable electricity) (1.2 TWh or 105 ktoe, 5% of all renewable energy). Wind power contributes with 0.4 GW (0.9 TWh) in the year 2020 (onshore wind 0.2 GW and 0.5 TWh, offshore wind 0.2 GW and 0.4 TWh). For solar photovoltaic the 2020 contribution is projected to be 0.0 GW (0.0 TWh). For solar thermal the 2020 contribution is projected to be 2 ktoe. The two most important biofuels are projected to contribute 28 ktoe (biodiesel) and 18 ktoe (bioethanol / bio-ETBE) by 2020. The renewable electricity production from solid biomass amounts to 0.6 TWh (55 ktoe) and for biogas it is expected to be 0.6 TWh (50 ktoe). The consumption of renewable heat is expected to amount to 1343 ktoe for solid biomass and 49 ktoe for biogas.

Renewable heat and electricity: solid biomass
According to EREC, Latvia has a feed-in tariff for electricity from biomass which depends on the tariff for natural gas (as approved by the regulatory authority) and a capacity-dependent fac-tor (varying from 1,240 to 0,965). The tariff is higher for the first ten years; after this period, the tariff reduces by 25%. Important limitation is the maximum installed capacity of 4 MW electric. Important other barriers for the development of biomass installations relate to grid connection.

To promote the active use of biomass (mainly wood) in Latvia for heat production in the local and district heat supply, fuel conversion projects are supported with financial instruments. Pro-ject holders may submit projects for co-financing from the EU structural funds in both the cur-rent and the next programming period. Wood cutting and processing waste is a potential source of biomass not fully exploited at present in Latvia. Using wood biomass would provide a sig-nificant contribution to increasing the share of biofuels. Some 15-25% of total surface wood is left in wood felling sites in Latvia. This equals about 2-5 million tons of fuel per year. The po-tential for biomass (timber waste) in Latvia is estimated to be 700,000 t/a (4,700 TJ).

Future programme changes expected
No information on future policy.

Sources

Renewable energy factsheet Latvia, http://ec.europa.eu/energy/energy_policy/facts_en.htm
(sourced January 2008)

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database, http://www.eurobserv-er.org (status 2007)

Ministry of Economy, http://www.em.gov.lv (sourced September 2008)

European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), National Policy Reviews, http://www.erec.org/policy/national-policy.html (version April 2008, sourced August 2008)

The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) are all published on the Transparency Platform on Renewable Energy: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/transparency_platform/action_plan_en.htm (sourced July - December 2010)

Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, http://www.ecn.nl/nreap (sourced December 2010)

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database
http://www.eurobserv-er.org
Last update: December 2010



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