The top priority for Latvia is economic and energy independence from Russia. The Baltic republic intends to maximise integration with Western and Northern European electricity grids. Latvia has made the promotion of local renewable energy sources one of its top priorities. By 2020, 40% of the total energy consumption is to originate from renewable sources. Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis is set to visit the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg at the end of February, and take part in the famous Matthiae meal. A business delegation, who will meet representatives of Hamburg's renewable energy companies, will accompany him.
Wind potential in Latvia
North-western Latvia has very good potential in terms of onshore wind. The wind statistics at the Baltic Sea boast 2,000 to 3,000 full load hours per year—one of the most productive wind regions in Europe. Latvia plans to install a total of 416 MW (of which 236 MW onshore and 180 MW offshore) by 2020. Hydropower plays an even greater role than wind energy. 2011 already saw a total installed capacity of 1,600 MW. Responsibility for promoting renewable energies lies with the Ministry of Economics, as there is no national energy agency. A system with fixed feed-in tariffs is in place to promote renewable energy, but it is currently suspended.
Thermal energy market in Latvia
With their Cohesion Fund, the Latvian Ministry of Finance provides up to 50 per cent of the financing for construction costs associated with new combined heat and power plants and the modernisation of existing houses. Heat generation in Latvia is mainly based on solid biomass, sewage gas and biogas.