In 2015, gross consumption of renewable energy resources in Latvia comprised 66.1 PJ. Consumption of renewable resources has dropped by 3.2 %, as compared to 2014, however over the decade the indicator has risen by 6.2 %.
As the gross consumption of renewable resources increased, Latvian dependence upon imported energy resources reduced – from 63.9 % in 2005 to 40.6 % in 2014, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Notable increase was recorded in consumption of biofuel (bioethanol, biodiesel) – 19.9 times during the decade, and by 213 % compared to 2014. During the last decade, consumption of biogas (landfill gas, sewage sludge gas, other biogas) has risen 10.8 times and, compared to 2014, by 17 %.
Over the decade, gross consumption of fuel-wood has increased by 6.4 %, reaching 52.6 PJ in 2015, whereas compared to 2014 the indicator has reduced by 6.0 %. In 2015, the share of fuel-wood in the gross energy consumption accounted for 28.4 % – 1.6 percentage points less than in 2014. In 2015, Latvia exported 33.7 PJ of fuel-wood – 11.1 % more than in 2014. Compared to 2014, the volume of wood pellets produced grew by 14.1 %, and the volume of wood chips produced went up by 8.4 %. In 2015, Latvia exported 28.0 PJ of wood pellets – 20.4 % more than in 2014.
The highest consumption of fuel-wood still was recorded in household sector. However, the indicator has declined by 28.7 % during the decade, constituting 36.4 % of the gross consumption of fuel-wood in 2015. Compared to 2005, fuel-wood consumed in industry and construction has risen 2.9 times, and in 2015 fuel-wood consumption in the sectors accounted for 28.5 % of the gross consumption of fuel-wood.
During the decade, the share of renewable resources consumed in transformation sector has grown by 19.4 percentage points, reaching 36.1 % in 2015. Compared to 2014, the consumption of fuel-wood in transformation sector has gone up by 7.6 %. It may be explained by the fact that number of combined heat and power (CHP) plants and share of renewable sources in the transformation sector was growing, and the share of natural gas was reducing. During the time period from 2005 to 2015, consumption of fuel-wood in the transformation sector increased 2.1 times, reaching 14.7 PJ last year.
Since 2010, installed electrical capacity of CHP plants using renewable resources rose 7.9, and in 2015 it comprised 126 MW – 5 MW more than in 2014. The volume of electricity produced in CHP plants using renewable resources has grown 11.6 times since 2010, reaching 765 GWh – 96 GWh more than in 2014. In 2015, 2 772 GWh of electricity were produced from the renewable resources, and, compared to 2014, the indicator almost has not changed (-1.1 %). During the decade, the volume of electricity produced in wind power plants has increased from 47 to 147 GWh, the volume produced in biomass (firewood, wood waste) electrical power plants and CHP plants has risen from 6 to 378 GWh, and the volume produced in biogas CHP plants – from 36 to 387 GWh.
During the recent years, installed electrical capacity of hydro power plants has not changed significantly, whereas the indicator in wind power plants and CHP plants using renewable resources has increased notably. During the last five years, installed electrical capacity of wind power plants rose 2.3 times, reaching 69 MW in 2015. Compared to 2014, in 2015 electrical capacity of biogas CHP plants grew by 4.8 % and of biomass power plants and CHP power plants – by 3.4 % (5.5 times, compared to 2010). One of the reasons behind the increase in consumption of renewable sources in electricity production is the state support allowing traders to sell electricity within the framework of mandatory procurement.
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 second highest share of renewable sources in the energy consumption in the European Union; in 2014 Latvian indicator constituted 38.7 % (EU average – 16.0 %). Moreover, each Member State in 2020 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 (3.23 % in Latvia in 2014).