When asked which energy products they are concerned the most about in terms of end prices going up, 39% of respondents mentioned electricity, 28 – heating and 19% – fuel, according to results of DNB Latvian Barometer study.
MEP Krisjanis Karins said in regards to this data: «As you can see, people in Latvia are worried about prices of energy resources, especially electricity. In order to reduce prices, however, there is only one remedy – competition. For Latvia, it would mean being released from the gas monopolist and secure development of infrastructure connectivity with the European Union. What is positive is that Latvia will be able to access electricity produced in Scandinavia, because the underwater cable NordBalt connecting Lithuania and Sweden has been completed. It will help secure cheaper electricity for our households.»
Nevertheless, DNB Bank board member Lauris Macijevskis notes: «This is a very dynamic time for Latvia’s energy industry, because there are multiple major processes in motion – Economy Ministry has begun work on new regulations for the use of renewable energy resources, which is planned to be adopted on 1 January 2020; preliminary work has begun on the gas market’s liberalization and increased attention has been turned to energy efficiency, which is related to the adoption of European Parliament’s and European Council’s Directives 2012/27/EU. The decline of prices on fossil energy resources is also noted. This applies to oil products and natural gas. It is expected that the creation of a new connection will improve the price range on electricity in Latvia and Lithuania.»
In regards to the main problems related to electricity in Latvia, 80% of respondents mentioned the price. 45% of respondents mentioned the reliance on supplies of energy resources from other countries and improper use of energy (36%).
Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens notes: «Latvian residents believe the most important problem is the price rise. I believe the same. It is noticed that electricity prices should start declining following the decline of prices on oil and gas on global markets. It can be achieved by building new power lines with neighbouring countries and limiting the price rise of renewable energy resources.»
When asked as to what should be done in Latvia in order to resolve current problems related to energy, respondents most often said it is necessary to develop alternative energy sources (54%).
Compared with eight years ago, respondents more often mentioned the need to search for opportunities to connect to the gas line under the Baltic Sea (22% in 2008 and 28% in 2016) this year. In 2008, on the other hand, respondents more often supported the idea about building a nuclear power plant in cooperation with other Baltic States (22% in 2008 and 15% in 2016).
When asked if residents would be prepared to pay more for electricity, 61% of respondents said they would not be able to pay more for electricity, 28% would pay more for electricity. 3% would be prepared to pay more for electricity if manufacturers used renewable energy sources.
When asked about the most serious problems in the world, 55% of respondents mentioned terrorism. 33% mentioned migration, 28% mentioned war threats and 27% mentioned the economic situation. Only 9% mentioned the lack of renewable energy resources and the difficulty of acquiring that energy.