59 biogas plants are operating in Latvia: 49 agricultural, 7 in regional waste management landfills, 2 in food/beverage industry and 1 in wastewater treatment facility which produce about 0.336 TWh of electricity and the total installed capacity is 62,102 MW.
In 2013 the Ministry of Economics had set temporary limits within which additional subsidies for electricity producers were no longer submitted. These restrictions were in force until the end of 2015, so the Ministry of Economics at the beginning of 2016 decided to extend this restriction until the end of 2020.
During the BiogasAction project Ekodoma has been working on different tasks in order to promote and fulfill the targets in BiogasAction and the different challengers in Latvia – especially with focus on WP3. The following initiatives has been established:
- Several individual discussions have happened between Ekodoma and Biogas association of Latvia, Transportation association and Ministry of Regional Development and Environmental Protection. Due to changes in legislations, different stakeholders have different issues.
- At October of 2017 first stakeholder forum/ discussion “Potential of biomethan use in Latvia” was held. It was attended by The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Ministry of Transport, Riga Technical University, Latvian Biogas Association and other stakeholders. Main conclusions was that, such meetings are a good way to exchange important opinions and knowledge, but all ministries involved in biogas sector should participate, including Ministry of Economics and Ministry of Agriculture. It is important for creating unified strategy for biogas sector instead of providing many different support mechanisms from four main ministries. Also, for starting biomethane production in Latvia, adequate support mechanisms should be created.
- At the beginning of February stakeholder forum/discussion about renewable energy in transport were organized in cooperation with Zemgale planning region. Ekodoma attended as the expert and consultant for potential biomethan use in transport. The aim of the meeting was to discuss development of the RES energy strategy for transport sector at Zemgale planning region.
- Afterword’s at May 15th 2018, a conference “Clean energy for all Europeans” for stakeholders were held, which was divided in 3 sections. Afternoon section, with four presentations and a discussion, was devoted for biomethane and biogas situation in Latvia and Europe.
Strengthening the biogas sector framework
- In order to raise the public acceptance in cooperation with Riga Technical University, Ekodoma and Latvian Biogas Association have organized several events like seminar, Energy info day, participated at International Power Industry, Energy Efficiency, Infrastructure and Environmental Technology Fair “Environment and Energy 2017”. In cooperation with Zero emission mobility support society information about biomethane potential in transport were placed at the stand about zero emission transport.
- In cooperation with Zemgale planning region event for municipalities were held, to discuss potential energy resources for Green Transport.
Optimizing business models and financing of biogas projects
- As there is no interest on developing new projects at this point in Latvia, because of the very unstable political situation, it is important to strengthen the value of biogas industry in planning documents at state, regional and municipal level. To motivate municipalities to cooperate with local biogas operators and search for mutual benefits in biogas production, Ekodoma did calculations to identify a biogas production potential for 16 municipalities in Latvia. Results and possible measures were included in all 16 SEAPS (Aizkraukle, Aknīste, Auce, Bauska, Dobele, Iecava, Jaunjelgava, Jekabpils, Jelgava, Krustpils, Ozolnieki, Plavinas, Sala, Tervete, Viesīte municipalities). Based on all 16 SEAPS (and 6 SEAPS already in force) Zemgale planning region developed regional plan for development of sustainable transport. Main objective of Zemgale is to reach 12% RES in transport until 2025. As one of the activities to reach that goal is to switch to biomethane in public transport at least at one municipality
Optimizing biogas production
- In cooperation with Riga Technical university Ekodoma organized Biogas summer school. It was organized in cooperation with “Institute of energy systems and Environment” from Riga technical university. Moto of summer school was “Biogas has a future”. Target audience was all stakeholders – public, students, academics, biogas operators, policy makers, professionals. Trainings were free of charge and open to every interested. During 4 trainings 7 different sessions were held:
- Planning of biogas plant
- Practical aspects of implementation of biogas plant
- Economic aspects of biogas production
- Role play – implementation of new biogas station
- Economic and political aspects of Biogas production
- Practical aspects of Biogas production (use of different substrates and experience from existing biogas plant)
- Field trip to to biogas plant “Agro Iecava”, which is one of the few examples, where biogas plant has arranged cooperation with local town and are providing heat to district heating system at Iecava town.
Description and the homepage of the project has integrated in Ekodoma homepage.
Check the video to know more (available only in Latvian language):