The Latvenergo Group uses both fossil fuels and renewable energy sources to produce electricity and heat. In 2022, renewables accounted for 48% of the total primary energy consumption, compared to 52% from fossil fuels. The company generates most of its electricity in hydroelectric power plants, and the rest – in thermal power plants which operate in cogeneration as well as in condensing mode. After the consumption of primary energy resources, the share of renewable energy resources in electricity production was 63%, but in the generation of thermal energy – 14%.
In its operations, the Latvenergo Group complies with the environmental protection requirements set forth in both EU and Latvian legislation and operating permits of the equipment. Compliance with the operation is ensured by the modernisation of equipment and the introduction of the best available technologies, as well as the professional conduct of employees. The Group actively cooperates with the state environmental protection institutions by providing information related to environmental protection, fulfilling the conditions of permits for polluting activities and use of water resources, as well as by consulting on the application of the environmental protection requirements. In 2022, no reprimands were received from environmental authorities.
One of the global environmental challenges facing the energy sector is climate change caused by greenhouse gases (GHGs). The work of the Latvenergo Group goes hand in hand with the activities of Latvia and the EU in achieving their climate goals. The EU has set climate neutrality as one of its goals for 2050, and the Fit for 55 package sets an even more ambitious target of reducing GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Achieving these targets will require new, efficient technologies and solutions.
On 1 January 2021, the fourth period of the ETS commenced and will continue until 2030. At the end of 2022, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council provisionally agreed on a target to reduce GHG emissions from ETS sectors by 62% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
CO2 emissions per one generated electricity unit (2018-2022)
In this period, it is planned to significantly and more rapidly reduce the total amount of emission allowances, phasing out free allowances (after 2026), allocating allowances according to the volume of production and establishing several financing instruments, including a Modernisation Fund to support industry and the electricity sector in terms of innovation and investment.
Although the Latvenergo Group is already one of the greenest electricity producers in Europe, the Group purposefully invests in developing a portfolio of zero-emission and low-emission plants and thus, contributes to climate change mitigation. The main investment directions are:
- generation – development of new renewable energy-based generation capacities (wind and solar), increasing the efficiency of energy generation and maximising the use of renewable energies, including research into hydrogen technologies
- trade – development of products and services that promote microgeneration, energy efficiency and the use of electricity instead of other energy sources
- electromobility – development of a public electric vehicle charging network
- distribution – development of a sustainable and economically viable service in line with the trends in micro-generation and electrification
Direct (Scope 1) Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Their Intensities
In the Latvenergo Group, the amount of direct greenhouse gas emissions is determined by fuel consumption, the amount of energy produced and the operating modes of production facilities. In turn, the CO2 emission intensity is calculated per unit of electricity produced by the Group (MWh), and is influenced by the share of RES in the consumption of primary energy resources, as well as the efficiency of CHPP production. The lower this ratio, the more electricity is produced from RES and the more efficient the CHPP units are.
In 2022, CO2 emissions per unit of electricity produced in the Group are 0.083 tons CO2/MWh, while in thermal power plants of Riga – 0.279 tons CO2/MWh.
Information on the origin and environmental impact of the electricity supplied to consumers (specific CO2 emissions per unit of energy) can be found in the section Trade.
The Group's total direct emissions are comprised of:
- emissions from the installations participating in the EU ETS (combustion installations with a rated thermal input exceeding 20 MW)
- emissions from installations not participating in the scheme that during 2022 have emitted approximately 7.5 tonnes of CO2, corresponding to 1.1% of total emissions
In addition to the above, the Latvenergo Group also emits CO2 from the fuel used for transport and machinery. The CO2 emissions generated in 2022 amounted to 7.9 thousand tonnes.
Indirect (Scope 2) Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Indirect scope 2 GHG emissions are emissions from the production of electricity and heat purchased by the company from other energy producers. The Latvenergo Group not only provides energy production, but also consumes heat and electricity for the maintenance of technological and administrative buildings. Heat and electricity are purchased from various suppliers, and the consumption of heat and electricity of the Group, as well as data provided by the suppliers and publicly available reports are used to compile its emissions. In 2022, the production of electricity purchased for consumption by the Group generated 5.7 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions and thermal energy generation – 0.8 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions, representing an overall decrease of around 13% compared to the previous year. In the reporting year, electricity distribution losses of Sadales tīkls AS generated 64 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Indirect (Scope 3) Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Scope 3 GHG emissions are other indirect emissions resulting from the company's activities – from supply chains and from the use of the company's products and services.
During the reporting year, the most significant scope 3 emissions were assessed, which are directly related to the Group's principal activities – electricity and heat generation, electricity and natural gas trading in the Baltic states, as well as the provision of electricity distribution services in the territory of Latvia.
CO2 emission (thousand tons)
|Scope 1 GHG emissions
|Scope 2 GHG emissions
Scope 3 GHG emissions
The calculation includes:
- extraction, generation, transport and transmission of consumed energy resources (GHG Protocol Category 3), which generated 154.4 tonnes of CO2 emissions
- use of sold energy resources and sold electricity (GHG Protocol Category 11), which generated 1529.9 tonnes of CO2 emissions
Emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere directly depend on the type of fuel used and the technology and efficiency of its use. Natural gas is one of the most environmentally friendly fuels, which are used by CHPP-1 and CHPP-2. When natural gas is burned, not only CO emissions are released into the atmosphere, but also nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO). In both combined heat and power plants, diesel fuel is only used as emergency fuel in the water heating boilers. Combustion of diesel fuel in the atmosphere, in addition to the NOx and CO emissions, produces a negligible amount of sulphur dioxide (SO2), as the diesel fuel with a sulphur content of not more than 0.1% is used, as well as insignificant particulate emissions. Hydrocarbon emissions occur during the storage of diesel fuel.
Emissions of Latvenergo AS into the atmosphere in 2022:
|NOx t||CO t||Particulate m. t||SO2 t|
|In the Group in total, incl.:||374||231||17||25|
The Group uses water resources mainly for the provision of production processes, as well as in small quantities for other economic needs and for the water supply to external consumers. In accordance with the Water Resources Atlas of the World Resources Institute, Latvia is in a low to low-medium water stress zone, therefore, there are no specific water consumption restrictions and no areas with increased water stress are identified in the water consumption data. The amount of surface and/or groundwater consumption is specified in the permits of each facility. The Group's water consumption balance includes surface water, groundwater, and tap water.
In 2022, a total of 1.9 million m3 of water were consumed, of which 98% is surface and groundwater, which is obtained in the low-medium water stress zone. From water consumed for operations in 2022: 92.5% was surface water, 5.2% – groundwater and 2.3% – piped water. The largest consumer of surface water is CHPP-2, which consumed 1.7 million m3 of water in the reporting year, 87% of which was cooling water. Consumption of CHPP-2 is mainly influenced by the operating modes of the production facilities and the amount of energy generated. The largest consumers of groundwater are CHPP-1 and CHPP-2, which have used 31.6 and 30.3 thousand m3 of groundwater, respectively, for the preparation of heating network feedwater.
Consumption of water resources in 2022 (thousand m3):
|Surface water||Underground water||Supply system water||Total|
|In the Group in total, incl.:||1745||99||43||1887|
* - does not include the use of water for the electricity generation in the hydropower plants.
Use of water resources is directly related to the wastewater treatment and discharge process. Latvenergo operations discharge industrial wastewater, rainwater and municipal wastewater.
TEC-1 industrial wastewater is treated in local treatment plants and discharged into the central sewer system of Riga.
Industrial wastewater is treated in CHPP-2 local treatment plants and discharged into the rainwater sewer of Riga.
The Latvenergo Group's concern for the preservation of biological diversity and the reduction of the impact of its operations is one of the basic principles of the Group's Environmental Policy. In its operations, the Group plans and implements measures aimed at the conservation of biological diversity. In this area, the main directions are the restoration of fish resources and the strengthening of the banks of the Daugava River.
To reduce the impact of its operations on biodiversity, the Group makes annual payments for the restoration of fish resources in the Daugava River basin in accordance with the requirements of regulatory enactments. In 2022, 1.1 million juveniles of salmon, sea trout, pikeperch, whitefish, vimba, and pike and 6.2 million of lamprey larvae were released into the rivers.
In addition, the Group also implements other projects to improve fish habitats and migration, e.g., places fish spawning nests in the Daugava River and cleans small rivers in the Daugava basin.
In 2022, the Latvenergo Group has been continuing its cooperation with the association Mēs zivīm (in English – We For Fish) for the twelvth year in a row. In April 2022, 440 artificial spawning nests were placed in the reservoir of Ķegums HPP and Riga HPP to promote the restoration of fish species characteristic to the Daugava River basin.
In cooperation with the association Mēs zivīm and Koknese municipality, the project Cleaning of the Pērse River was concluded in 2020. Within three years, in the length of 41 km, the river will be cleared of tree falls and beaver dams, thus, improving water permeability, ecological quality and providing more favourable conditions for various fish species.
In addition to the above-mentioned measures for the reproduction of fish resources, the Latvenergo Group prevents the death of fish during the lowering of water levels when carrying out the necessary repairs in the hydropower plants during the summer period. When the water level is lowered for repairs in the hydropower plants, the Group adjusts the HPP operation regimes and in cooperation with the association, organises an inspection of the exposed areas.
Appropriate research is being carried out to ensure that these measures are successful and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. Together with our cooperation partners, we conduct research on the possibility of restoring the migration and natural reproduction of migratory fish in the Daugava River basin. We conduct research on the fish fauna and fish resources and evaluate the significance of river clean-up work and the impact on biodiversity.