Latvenergo, a state-owned energy company in Latvia, plans to make significant investments in wind and solar farms. Martinš Ćakste, chief executive officer of Latvenergo, said that the Baltic states need a plan for unified energy sector. The prospect of constructing a modular nuclear power plant in Latvia, for example in partnership with Estonia, is also being explored.
In Latvia, renewable energy already accounts for 60 percent of total electricity production, due to Riga's large thermal power plants. Nevertheless, Latvia imports almost a third of its electricity needs.
The new action plan for Latvenergo anticipates a significant increase in production capacity within five years. Latvenergo and Latvia's State Forests (LVM), a state-owned organization that manages Latvia's forest land, formed a joint wind farm development company in response to a government decision. In addition, Latvenergo is partnering with German specialists on the development of marine parks and aims to invest up to €1 billion over the next couple of years in wind power generation.
"Latvenergo plans to more than double its production capacity. This will be generated by renewable energy sources such as solar parks and onshore and offshore wind turbines. The goal is to achieve synergy among diverse energy sources. Solar parks effectively compensate for low water levels in the summer, when the sun shines and there is little precipitation. When the sun is not shining, the wind is not blowing, and water is scarce, gas-fired thermal power plants remain the primary source of generation. Renewable energy is highly dependent on nature. As long as we lack a nuclear power plant, the dominant source of energy will be gas-fired thermal power plants or oil shale facilities both of which are used in the Baltic States as the primary source of energy," Ćakste explained.
The Estonian company Utilitas is one of the leading wind farm developers in Latvia. The incoming government in Latvia aims to establish a separate ministry for climate and energy in order to better manage substantial changes in this field and to organize Baltic cooperation over the long term.
"Ignitis, Enefit and Latvenergo have ambitious plans for the production of renewable energy, bringing with them substantially increased capacities.
Clearly, the Baltic States must coordinate the management of this capacity.
And if we produce more than we need, how do we export it?" Ćakste continued.
The head of Latvenergo said that the prospect of constructing a modular nuclear power plant in Latvia, for example in partnership with Estonia, is also being explored. Latvia should be able to produce all of the electricity it requires by 2028, i.e. approximately seven TWh per year.
Editor: Kristina Kersa