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Tuesday 19.03.2019 | Name days: Jāzeps

Consumption of renewable energy in Latvia up 17.8%

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn 2017, gross consumption of renewable energy sources (RES) in Latvia amounted to 80.5 petajoules (PJ). Compared to 2016, consumption of RES has risen by 17.8 %, whereas over the past five years – by 18.7 %.

In 2017, the rise in consumption of RES was facilitated by the domestic production of energy resources that grew by 5.6 %, compared to 2016, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

As the gross consumption of RES (mainly formed by domestic energy resources) is growing, the Latvian energy dependence1 is reducing – from 55.9 % in 2013 to 47.2 % in 2016.

Nevertheless, fuel wood (firewood, wood waste, wood chips, wood briquettes, wood pellets) is the renewable resource used the most commonly, the share thereof in the consumption of RES fell by 4.4 percentage points over the past five years, reaching 74.0 % in 2017. However, consumption of biogas (landfill gas, sewage sludge gas, and other biogas) keeps growing each year – over the past five years, it rose by 44.7 %, reaching 3.9 PJ in 2017.

Over the last five years, gross consumption of fuel wood increased by 12.0 %, reaching 59.5 PJ in 2017, whereas compared to 2016, it grew by 9.7 %. In 2017, compared to the year before, the volume of wood chips produced went up by 13.4 %, which was facilitated by the use thereof in the production of wood briquettes and wood slabs. Last year, 0.6 PJ of wood briquettes were produced, which is 79.4 % more than in 2016.

In 2017, the highest consumption of fuel wood was recorded in household sector consuming 35.5 % of gross consumption of fuel wood. Compared to 2016, last year consumption of fuel wood in households due to the cold winter rose by 12.2 %.

During the past five years, the share of RES consumed for the production of electricity and heat in transformation sector grew by 15.81 percentage points, reaching 38.7 % of the gross consumption in this sector in 2017. Compared to 2016, consumption of fuel wood for the production of electricity and heat rose by 12.7 %, reaching 19.4 PJ last year. The largest share (93.5 %) of the consumed fuel wood is taken by wood chips that reached 18.2 PJ in 2017. It may be explained by the growing number of combined heat and power (CHP) plants and share of RES in the transformation sector as the share of natural gas consumed fell.

In 2017, 7531 GWh of electricity were produced in Latvia, of which 5 461 GWh were produced from RES, and, compared to 2016, the volume has risen by 56.8 %. The volume of primary electricity produced went up notably – by 70.5 % or 6.7 PJ (of which rise of 73.2 % in hydro power plants and of 17.1 % in wind power plants). Hydro power plants and wind power plants together produced 4531 GWh of electricity, of which hydro power plants 4381 GWh and wind power plants 150 GWh.

Last year, due to the unusually high precipitation amounts and high water inflow in river Daugava, the large amount of electricity generated in hydro power plants had the greatest upward effect on the amount of electricity produced. Over the past five years, the volume of electricity produced in biomass electrical power plants and CHP plants rose from 215 to 525 GWh, and the volume produced in biogas CHP plants – from 288 to 405 GWh.

Until 2020, Latvia has to reach 40 % of the energy produced from renewable resources in the gross final energy consumption. In 2016, Latvia had the third highest share of renewable resources in the energy consumption in the European Union (37.2 %) right after Sweden (53.8 %) and Finland (38,7 %), while the EU average indicator constituted 17.0 %.

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