Experienced in renewable energy generation, Latvia provides an excellent environment for green energy projects. As one of the main exporters of environmental technology and resources in the EU, Latvia has the potential to expand this sector, equipped with skilled labour, long-standing experience, and the necessary resources. Latvia’s efforts to improve energy efficiency and the increasing enrolment in degree courses relevant to the sector further add to the industry’s potential.
- Traditionally a leading sector
- Easy access to raw materials thanks to advantageous geographic location
- Excellent logistics infrastructure
- Competitive labour force
- Highly competitive in higher value products
- Shift toward more sophisticated production
Regarding renewable energy in general, it should be noted that while producing slightly more than 40.29% of its inland annual energy consumption from renewable energy, Latvia is the EU leader in terms of share of renewables in total energy consumption (Eurostat, 2018). The two most prominent renewable energy sources in Latvia are biomass and hydropower. Nevertheless, there are still opportunities to be developed in the wind power and solar energy segments. Furthermore, despite this impressive track-record, Latvia has also set one of the highest EU 2020 goals for the development of renewables.
Latvia has traditionally relied on hydroelectric power for electricity generation. After regaining independence in 1991, green energy continued to be on the agenda, also as a means to decrease dependence on Russian imports. Furthermore, the renewable energy sector is also a European Union priority, aiming to increase the sustainability of the energy sector and to create new jobs.
Since Latvia is one of the most forested EU member states, it has a great potential to increase the generation of energy from renewable resources, particularly in biomass. Particularly relevant to Latvia, biomass can also be derived from by-products of the woodworking sector. Today, most energy from renewable resources is generated from hydropower and biomass, and the share of renewable energy solutions in central district heating networks in Latvia lately has significantly increased.
Workforce in the sector is skilled and highly competitive. Currently, there are numerous vocational programmes and several higher education degrees dedicated to the particular sector. Over the past few years, the enrolment at educational institutions has been increasing too and in addition to the increasing investment in tangible assets the sector is becoming more productive, as well as competitive as never.