Latvia and Energy Saving

Latvia is located at the shore of the Baltic Sea, in Northern Europe. It lies in the middle of Baltic States, which consist of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Latvia has a population of about 2 236 910 people and it occupies 64 589 km2. Latvian people pride themselves of their cultural heritage and deep traditions. One of the biggest festivals is Jāņi in which the Midsummer's eve is celebrated. Another big event of Latvian cultural experience is the Song and Dance festival which under the title Song and Dance Celebration, is included in the UNESCO list as part of unique cultural heritage. It is a large-scale festival in which participants from all over Latvia come to Riga and join in singing and dancing. This festival takes place in Riga and it is celebrated only every five years.

The biggest natural resources of Latvia are vast woods and river Daugava, which provides country with hydropower. The three biggest hydropower plants on Daugava produce approximately 39% of annual electricity consumption in Latvia. According to the year 2003, Latvia emits 10 528 Gg of CO2ekv, which is 41% less, than in the year 1990. According to Kyoto protocol only 8% reduction of CO2 correspondingly to 1990 is necessary by 2012. This means that Latvia can sell CO2 quota on the international CO2 quota trading market and reinvest this profit to increase the energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is one of the key elements on which Latvia has to focus in order to achieve even higher CO2 reduction levels. 62% of all produced heat energy in Latvia is used by households. This is due to the living stock which is rapidly aging. The average specific heat consumption is about 212 kWh/m2, which is considered as a high heat consumption index, and therefore represents high potential for heat loss reduction.
In recent years there have been several attempts to reduce the CO2 emissions. One of the latest projects is called Green Investment Scheme program (GIS). The aim of this program is to improve the energy efficiency and to promote zero emission energy sources in domestic sector. The main financing of this project comes from quotas sold on CO2 quota trading market.