Status of Development – EKODOMA, Latvia
With the complicated situation regarding limited subsidies for the new biogas plants and biomethane injection to the gas grid, EKODOMA works on negotiations with the policy makers. Other actions include: raising public awareness, i.a. through cooperation with Riga Technical University, preparation of local feasibility studies, decision making and knowledge sharing.
State of Departure
The development of the Latvian biogas market was initiated by the introduction of new RES support policy – electricity feed-in tariff, guaranteed payment for installed capacity and investment grants. The installed biogas capacity has increased from around 7 MWel in 2005 to 56.52 MWel in 2014. However, the construction of biogas is still unused for 33 licenses with a total installed capacity of 49.098 MWel.
In 2013 the Ministry of Economics had set temporary limits within which additional subsidies for electricity producers were no longer submitted, it was planned that restrictions will be in force until the end of 2015. Most of the biogas stations are supported with feed-in tariff. All support for new biogas stations temporarily was stopped (no new licenses are available), but support for existing biogas stations didn’t change and interest for new investments in existing biogas stations remained fairly high. In April 2015 the ministry of Economics started preparation of the technical standards for injection of gas into national grid. At 7th October 2016 came in to force The Cabinet Rules Nr.650, October 4, 2016 “Requirements for injection and transportation of bio-methane and liquefied natural gas in the natural gas transmission and distribution system”. However, there is still debate on the requirements imposed. Chairmen of the board of Latvian Biogas Association Andis Karklins, posit that biomethane quality requirements mentioned at this Cabinet Regulation No.650 is too high, and almost impossible to guarantee.
What have been done during the first project part
During the first period of BiogasAction Ekodoma has been working on different tasks in order to promote and fulfil the targets in BiogasAction and the different challengers in Latvia.
As of institutional building task, several individual discussions have happened between Ekodoma and Biogas association of Latvia, Transportation association and Ministry of Regional Development and Environmental Protection.
Strengthening the biogas sector framework included raising public awareness through cooperation with Riga Technical University, workshops and talks about lack of financial supports and issues with legislation. Moreover, in cooperation with Riga Technical university Ekodoma will create regular training system for biogas professionals and public, but separately from academic bachelor or masters’ programs.
In cooperation with local municipalities Ekodoma has started to work with feasibility studies of Biogas in 5 local municipalities.