From Latvia and Portugal

Entrepreneurs: Latvia has to improve renewable energy policy

Even though the renewable energy in Latvia has future and an enormous potential, currently, there is a lack of investments, or they are not discussed sufficiently enough, assert the entrepreneurs.

They have concluded that, at the present moment, Latvia has to improve and promote the renewable energy policy, the business portal BNN was informed by the communications consultant at the British Chamber Of Commerce In Latvia (BCCL) Liva Jegere (Līva Jēgere).

It is sad that there is no demand for renewable resources in Latvia; consequently, there is no investment in this sector. The new renewable energy law provides that the local governments have to develop renewable energy action plans. To change the situation, it is first necessary to train the workers at a local level, addressing each individually, believes the Chairman of the BCCL Board Tim Makin.

Latvia’s goal is to increase the consumption of the energy produced from the renewable resources at least by 40 % till the year 2020.

However, there are several significant challenges – constant policy changes, a huge procurement tariff dependence on the natural gas prices, high requirements to receive capacity payments, as well as the lack of systematic investment support instruments, points out the Professor at the University of Latvia Faculty of Economics and the Head of engineering-consultancy company COWI Latvia Energy Department Daina Krumina (Daina Krūmiņa).

Developers deviously claim that there is no demand for renewable technologies, although they have never been active supporters of this idea. Studies indicate that more than 90 % of the Latvian population, if there is such opportunity, would prefer to live in energy-efficient buildings with renewable technologies, points out the renewable energy technology expert Ian Bloomfield, adding that green buildings attract tenants and buyers much faster, they require smaller maintenance costs and, more importantly, create the feeling of well-being for their tenants.

Material published in BNN

Renewable energy

The European Union is a global leader in funding, resourcing and implementing renewable energy sources. As a member of the EU, Portugal is a country committed to reducing it’s reliance on fossil fuels and addressing a change in attitude to global warming.

In 2001 Portugal launched a new energy policy, E4 (Energy Efficiency and Endogenous Energies), to help highlight the change from the reliance on fossil fuels to alternative, renewable sources.

The aims of this policy was to diversify the access to energy sources on the market, to improve efficiency of energy suppliers and to reduce the external bills as well as sourcing elternative renewable energies – geothermal, tidal, solar, wave and wind power within Portugal.

The initiative’s success was boosted with an announcement in January 2007 by Prime Minister Jose Socrates, an environment activist in his youth, of his government’s intention to provide nearly half of the country’s electricity from bio fuels within a three year period, ahead of targets set by Kyoto Protocol in 2010.

Socrates upped the target of energy provided in Portugal by bio fuels in three years by 39 per cent to 45 per cent. It is the intention of the Portuguese government to ensure nearly half of the electricity consumed in Portugal is collected from either wind, solar or wave energy plants. to this end the government is investing $5 billion in renewable energy over next five years develping wind, solar and wave projects.

Portugal is doing its part to invest in renewable energy with the dedication of a new 11-megawatt (MW) solar plant. The plant, which is located in Serpa, is one of the largest solar arrays in the world and can supply enough electricity for 8,000 households.

In 2006 36 new wind farms started construction and in 2007 Portugal opened the world’s largest solar energy plant. Add to this the innovative wave farm in North Portugal, which was also opened in 2007. By implementing such innovative and far reaching strategies means Portugal, within thirteen years, could have 60 per cent of it’s power provided by renewable energy sources, far in advance of it’s other EU counterparts.

Although the Portuguese government is committed to helping change attitudes and more widely, the environment, it realises it is down to the individual to comply. therefore in the spring of 2007 by law all new build properties in Portugal must have solar panels fitted to assist with water heating each property.

While governmental strategies are all well and good it is difficult to ascertain the impact on the individual of these new policies. However this won’t affect existing properties it goes with water heating in each property.

To combat the change the EU provides grants to help convert your property to a energy efficient one. However due to lack of funding and under estimations of the level of interest these grants have been given, they were exhausted at the beginning of the tax year.

Material published on gekkoportugal.com in

EU warns six members over renewable energy plans

Brussels – The European Union on Thursday warned Poland, Estonia, Belgium, Latvia, Hungary and Slovakia of legal action after they failed to draw up plans to boost their use of renewable energy.To fight global warming, the EU has pledged to boost its use of non-polluting renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, to 20 per cent of total energy used by 2020. Within that overall target, each member state has its own legally-binding national goal.All 27 EU states were meant to put forward detailed plans on how they intend to hit their targets by June 30, but the six members in question have not done so, European Commission energy spokeswoman Marlene Holzner told journalists in Brussels. The commission has therefore sent them a written warning, the first step in a process which could lead to legal action.The national targets are based on each country’s use of renewable energy in 2005. Poland’s target is a 15-per-cent share of renewable energy by 2020. The target for Belgium and Hungary is 13 per cent, Slovakia 14 per cent, Estonia 25 per cent, Latvia 40 per cent.

Material published in Earth Times on 30 Sep 2010

Boosting renewable energy in Latvia

The Latvian energy company Latgales Energetika, which is specialized in small-scale hydropower, had its 15th anniversary on Friday the 14 of September in Rezekne, Eastern Latvia. NEFCO has since 2001 supported small-scale hydropower in Latvia and Lithuania through the company Baltic Hydroenergy AS, which owns several small hydro electric power plants in the Baltic region, including shares in Latgales Energetika’s plants in Latvia.

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Baltic Hydroenergy AS‘ projects aim at increasing the use of renewable energy and upgrading existing hydropower plants with modern technology in the Baltic countries. Latgales Energetika has up to August this year produced 2.769.389 KWh electricity for local consumption. Baltic Hydroenergy’s overall production this year is 10 million KWh, which is 90 per cent of the company’s prognosed annual production.

Material published on NEFCO (Nordic Environment Finance Corporation)

Latvia registered third highest proportion of renewable energy use in EU in 2008

In 2008, Latvia registered the third highest proportion of renewable energy use in the European Union, according to data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat. The proportion of renewable energy use in Lithuania in 2008 was 15.3%, but in Estonia – 19.1%.

Sweden had the highest proportion of renewable energy use in the EU in 2008 – 44.4%, followed by Finland – 30.5%, informs LETA.

On the other hand, the lowest proportion of renewable energy use is in Malta – 0.2%, followed by Luxembourg – 2.1%, and Great Britain – 2.2%.

The total proportion of renewable energy use in the whole EU was 10.3% in 2008, compared to 9.7% in 2007 and 8.8% in 2006.

Material published on The Baltic Course in July 14, 2010

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