/27th May 2019, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ SIA Eolus, a subsidiary of Sweden's Eolus Vind AB plans to build a €250m wind farm in Dobele and Tukums municipalities. This landmark wind farm project in Latvia has been included in the Central East and South East Europe Wind Power Market Outlook 2018÷2027, reported the Renewable Market Watch™. Eolus said that a total of 51 turbines are to be set up, with annual electricity production at 0.7 TWh - about 10% of Latvia's yearly energy consumption. "The growing efficiency of wind turbines makes setting up a new wind farm economically feasible. It is and will remain the cheapest renewable energy source, and we're going ahead with the new wind farm no matter what renewable energy policies Latvia adopts in the future," said Gatis Galviņš, board member at Eolus. Construction was planned to start in 2019 and conclude by 2022. Eolus Vind AB is one of the largest wind farm operators in Sweden, having built 540 out of the country's 3400 wind turbines. It is listed on Stockholm's Nasdaq exchange. The net electricity consumption in Latvia totalled 580 286 MWh, average Nord Pool day-ahead price for Latvian bidding area increased to 43.52 EUR/MWh. Local generation covered 86% of national consumption.
In 2017 gross energy consumption in Latvia comprised 194.9 petajoules (PJ), which is 5.5 % more than in 2016, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB). Over the past five years (from 2013 to 2017), gross energy consumption has not changed significantly, however the share of renewables has increased by 2.55 percentage points. But the most eye-catching statistic in the data was a 70.5 % or 6.7 PJ increase in the amount of primary electricity produced in hydro power plants (up by 73.2%) and wind power plants (up by 17.1 %). Together in these power plants generated 4531 GWh of electricity, of which 4381 GWh were produced in hydro power and 150 GWh in wind power.
Over recent years, the structure of gross energy consumption has changed – as the share of natural gas is declining and the proportion of renewables is growing. Over ten years, the share of natural gas consumption dropped by 5 percentage points, constituting 23.4 % in 2017, the share of renewables reached 32.9 %, and the share of fuelwood rose by 7.1 percentage points, comprising 30.5 %. Compared to 2016, in 2017 the amount of wood chips produced rose by 8.7 %, of firewood by 5.5 %, and of pelleted wood by 35 %. Last year, 0.6 PJ of pelleted wood were produced, which is 79.4 % more than in 2016. As the gross consumption of renewables is growing, Latvian energy dependence fell from 63.9 % in 2005 to 47.2 % in 2016.
Latvian Renewable Energy Market
While producing slightly more than 37.2% of its inland annual energy consumption from renewable energy, Latvia is on of the leaders of the share of renewables in total energy consumption within the EU. The two most prominent renewable energy sources in Latvia are biomass and hydropower, where also significant R&D capacity has been developed, in order to maintain a sustainable growth of domestic industries and assist our partners abroad. In the meantime, there is still a lot of opportunities to be developed in wind power and solar energy segments. Furthermore, despite impressive track-record, Latvia has already set one of the highest EU 2020 goals for development of renewables, and anticipates others to join in its dedication to green and truly sustainable future economy.
Renewable Energy Policy and Development Plan
In 2018, the EU agreed on the ‘Clean Energy Package’, setting a new framework for climate and energy until 2030. Within this new set-up, Member States must develop by 2019 a national energy and climate plan (NECP). The process will serve as a planning tool for the next ten years during which Member States must name their own targets for 2030 within the framework of the EU’s Long Term Strategy for 2050. The NECP should explain what measures a Member State will take in order to contribute to the EU’s 2030 targets for energy efficiency, renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction and a phase out of fossil fuels, and at the same time quantify the investments needed to reach these objectives.
Currently, the Latvian ministry is developing the National Energy and Climate Plan until 2030, which will be finalised by the end of 2019. Considering that the share of renewable energy resources in Latvia is estimated to have reached 40-41% by 2020, it is proposed in draft version of the Latvian NECP to increase this share to 45% by 2030. Latvia depends mostly on its hydropower capacity, which meets around 70% of the country’s electricity demand. The hydro power will continue to maintain a significant share in renewable energy sources (RES) electricity production in Latvia. At the same time, new wind power capacity additions are also projected by the Latvian government in order to diminish domination of the hydro power in the country's renewable energy generation mix.
As the gross consumption of renewables is increasing, Latvia is getting closer to the strategic objective regarding use of renewable energy resources aiming at reaching 40 % of the energy produced from renewables in the gross final energy consumption by the end of 2020. Latvia has the third highest share of renewables in the final energy consumption in the European Union (EU); in 2016, the indicator constituted 37.2 % (EU average 17 %).
Clouds Over the Horizon About the Largest Wind Power Plant Projected in Latvia
Proper environmental impact assessment and cooperation with local community is key for wind farm's succesfull development. However, according to uncomfirmed rumors Eolus Vind AB has obstacles with the project from the beginning as residents of the Tukums and Dobele regions show their negative attitude against it. For this reason the company may fail to meet the high environmental impact assessment (EIA) requirements, mainly because of the wind power technology it plans to use.
About Eolus Vind AB
Eolus Vind’s main concept is to develop and construct wind power facilities in areas with favorable wind conditions. Our projects are mainly realized through sales of turnkey operational facilities. Our business model also allows parts of the project portfolio to be realized through sales of project rights for permitted projects and projects under development. The Group comprises the Parent Company, Eolus Vind AB (publ), and the subsidiaries Ekovind AB, Svenska Vindbolaget AB, Blekinge Offshore AB, Eolus Elnät AB, SIA Eolus, Eolus Vind Norge A/S, Eolus Oy, Eolus Wind Power Management AB, Eolus North America Inc. and the sub-subsidiary OÜ Baltic Wind Energy. In addition to the above companies, several other companies formed to manage the development of specific wind power projects are also part of the Group.
The more information about wind energy market in Latvia, including full contact details of renewable energy project owners and developers you may read here: Central East and South East Europe Wind Power Market Outlook 2018÷2027
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