Strategy

To facilitate the achievement of national climate goals and strengthen energy security, Latvenergo AS is increasing its portfolio of renewable energy generation, focusing on the development of high-capacity wind power plants. Independence from external energy resources is one of the key pillars of national security and sovereignty for Latvia and all Baltic states.

Right now, wind power is one of the most economically efficient solutions, especially with the currently present capacity deficit in Latvia and the Baltics, which affects the electricity market prices. New wind power plants make it possible to generate competitive, green and environmentally friendly electricity with profit and without subsidies in Latvia. Development of large-scale wind farms is a project benefitting the interests of the state and the entire society of Latvia.

Latvenergo Group is one of the leading energy generators in the Baltics, a reliable and trustworthy partner for investors working to achieve the country's energy and climate goals. The company has relevant experience, resources and competence to implement the projects and find the most cost-competitive sources of funding for them.

OPERATING PRINCIPLES

Working and giving back to Latvia

We are a state-owned company and implementation of the projects benefits the entire society

Being socially responsible

We anticipate financial benefits for municipalities and already involve local communities in the planning stages

Respecting the environment

We work alongside environmental organisations, comply with recommendations and applicable environmental requirements

Choosing suitable solutions

When selecting technologies, we choose solutions that are suitable for the environment and society

Areas of operations

To jointly work on the development of strategic wind farm projects, on 22 July 2022 Latvenergo AS established a joint venture – Latvijas vēja parki SIA – together with Latvijas valsts meži AS. Using the experience and resources of two national-scale companies, it is planned to expand the power generation portfolio of Latvenergo AS with at least 800 MW of renewable energy capacity, which in total would constitute approximately 130 modern wind turbines across Latvia. The purpose of the joint venture is to design, build and operate wind farms located on the land of Latvian state forests, promoting the flexibility of power generation and the country's energy independence. The projects will be implemented according to rational market principles, without any state financial support mechanisms.

The operating principles of the company dictate the environmentally and socially responsible development of wind farms, working for the interests of the population of Latvia.

Key benefits of the established joint venture:

  1. Cooperation between Latvian state-owned enterprises – all benefits remain with the state and population of Latvia;
  2. Development of wind farms in forests leaves less of an impact on the surrounding population and landscape;
  3. A single cooperation partner in land ownership matters facilitates the coordination process and a quicker implementation of projects.

Research of Latvian state forest plots has commenced by now, investigating aspects such as wind resources, protected natural areas and restrictions, existing road infrastructure, availability of connections and the state of the existing networks, as well as continuing research field work of avifauna, habitats and bats and preparation for environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures. Dialogue with environmental institutions and organisations has been launched and there have been meetings with several municipalities in order to take the opinions of all involved parties into account from the early stages of the process. Work is also underway to choose the most suitable technological solutions.

So far, the Environment State Bureau has received applications and taken decisions on the application and initiation of the EIA procedure in four Latvian state forest areas located in Aizkraukle, Limbaži, Ludza, Balvi and Ventspils municipalities. More detailed information about the EIA procedure is available on the website of the Environment State Bureau.

WPP construction process

The development of wind power technology provides an opportunity to generate green, zero-emission electricity across all Latvia. This opens up more and more opportunities to choose areas that are particularly well suited for the development of wind farms. Latvenergo specialists are currently analysing various land plots and the potential for creating wind farms in various areas. The selection of suitable areas is a complex process, as it requires a number of factors to already be included in the early stages of research and taken into account with social and environmental responsibility before making a decision.

We are open to cooperation with other wind farm project developers, as well as landowners who would like to develop wind farms on their property. All of those interested are invited to fill in the application form and our specialists will get in touch you.

Construction of wind farms in the sea, or offshore wind farms, in most cases has become both economically viable and technologically feasible, and, even though building offshore wind farms does not affect the daily life of the local communities, several other factors need to be taken into account, such as bird migration, sea ecosystem, fishing areas, etc. This means that the development of offshore wind farms requires extensive preparation work.

The operational strategy of Latvenergo envisages the development of offshore wind farms as well. So far, feasibility studies and preparatory works have been started and cooperation opportunities, laws and regulations, as well as global trends are being evaluated to already commission the first offshore wind farms before 2030.

NEWS

 November 8  

How to avoid harming birds, bats and people

  Read more
 October 31, 2022  

Development of wind energy and hydrogen industries: complementing each other

  Read more
 October 17  

Latvenergo: the development of wind farms is a cooperation opportunity for Latvian entrepreneurs

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 September 16 

Latvenergo and RWE join forces to develop offshore wind energy projects in Latvia

  Read more
 August 31 

Latvijas vēja parki expects the first wind turbines to start spinning in 2026

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 August 8 

National joint venture Latvijas vēja parki SIA - for Latvia's energy independence, security and stability"

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 July 26 

A joint venture of Latvenergo AS and Latvijas valsts meži AS for the development of wind parks, Latvijas vēja parki SIA, is registered"

  Read more
 June 21  

Latvenergo WPP strategy goals become even more important because of the war

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 June 20  

Development of WPP technology and its impact on people

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 May 20  

About wings: birds, bats and wind turbines

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 April 1 

Latvenergo starts implementing the new growth strategy

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 February 25 

Latvenergo launches EIA procedure for the development of wind farms

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 February 23 

The Cabinet of Ministers supports the intention to establish a joint venture for the development of wind farms in Latvia

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 January 28 

Current updates on the way to large scale wind farms

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Myths

Assessment of the potential impact on wild birds, bats and habitats is one of the first tasks to be performed when planning a wind farm. Certified experts are involved both in the project feasibility study and in the environmental impact assessment; they conduct a detailed survey of the planned wind farm site and provide opinions and recommendations that are already taken into account during the construction and operation stages of the project. If any potential disruptions to the bird population are detected, the wind farm project is suspended. According to its operating principles, Latvenergo addresses both environmental organisations and institutions as well as experts from the early stages of the research process to find the best-suited location for the WPP that would leave the least possible impact on bird populations, bats and habitats, and evaluates the implementation of various additional safety control systems.

In addition to the above-mentioned measures, bird and bat monitoring is carried out in cooperation with certified experts and nature protection institutions during the operation of power plants to ensure that the impact of WPP does not exceed the permissible level.

The hazard of wind power plants to birds has been analysed in a series of studies, and it has been concluded that wind turbines are not the biggest threat to birds. When planning wind farms responsibly and using the latest technologies, their impact on the daily life of birds is reduced to a minimum.

Climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels has a much greater impact on the environment, including habitats and bird populations, and the comparison of these effects and the ever-growing demand for electricity shows that the use of wind potential is the most environmentally friendly way to meet this demand.

Learn more:
https://www.zalabriviba.lv/energija/putnu-aizsardziba-veja-parki/
https://dtbird.com/images/pdfs/Brochure-DTBird.-March-2019.pdf
https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/21/1/267

When building a wind farm, a series of construction regulations must be observed. These rules, concerning wind farms in particular, are made to ensure that the turbines do not affect the well-being and, most importantly, the health of the population.

Noise pollution, infrasound and flickering effect caused by wind power plants have been mentioned in a number of publications as an unavoidable environmental impact of wind turbines. These factors have been studied in depth, and it has been concluded that the sound produced by wind turbines, while clearly audible within 100 metres, is no longer a disturbance at a greater distance. Under normal conditions, at a distance of 800 metres, which is the minimum distance between a power plant and the nearest human settlement, the noise generated by the turbines is no longer audible. The sound generated by the turbines is taken into account when planning and modelling the wind farm and the location of the power plants is planned so as to avoid disturbing people.

Studies of the effects of infrasound have shown that the impact at a distance of 700 metres from an operating wind power plant does not significantly differ from the measurements at the same location when the turbine is turned off.

It is worth mentioning that the impact is minimised as the wind turbine technology develops. For example, to prevent the flickering effect, wind farms are equipped with systems where light sensors, GPS receivers and specially designed algorithms work together, helping to adjust the operation of the wind farm so that individual turbines are stopped at the moment when their shadow can cause a flickering effect.

Latvenergo's approach is based on respect for the environment, landscape and the local residents. We work in the interests of the people of Latvia, respecting the rules and using the available technologies in order not to affect the well-being of the people and biodiversity.

Learn more:
Herrmann, Lorenz, et al. "Low-frequency noise incl. infrasound from wind turbines and other sources." INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON Congress and Conference Proceedings. Vol. 253. No. 3. Institute of Noise Control Engineering, 2016.
Pedersen, Eja, and Kerstin Persson Waye. "Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise—a dose–response relationship." The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 116.6 (2004): 3460-3470.
Chapman, Simon, and Fiona Crichton. Wind turbine syndrome: A communicated disease. Sydney University Press, 2017.

Wind power technology has reached a level that allows onshore wind farms to be built without external support or subsidies. This means that the construction and operation of wind farms will not cause any financial burden to the public. On the contrary, the inclusion of wind power in the energy generation portfolio strengthens the country's energy independence and reduces uncontrolled price fluctuations. The development of Latvenergo wind farms is based on the basic principles of the free market and these projects will not be subsidised.

The key principles of Latvenergo when developing wind farms are to work in the interests of the Latvian state and its population, to build wind farms in a socially responsible manner while respecting the environment and the landscape and to allocate a part of the earnings directly to the municipalities in whose territory these farms are located, by proposing amendments to a draft law which contains no such provisions so far.

During the planning process of wind farms, Latvenergo consults the involved municipalities and environmental institutions and organisations on a regular basis in order to timely identify and discuss any potential risks and uncertainties.


The Baltic region and Latvia are unable to meet their own electricity consumption demand with the existing generation capacities, thus currently approximately half of the required amount of electricity is imported, and this share of imports has an upward trend. Latvenergo medium-term strategy for 2022-2026 envisages a reduction in electricity imports.

In recent years, specialists of Latvenergo have conducted in-depth studies of various technologies, including offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, hydrogen, and small nuclear power plants. The research takes into account a number of factors, primarily technology costs and the current market readiness. It has been concluded that the most appropriate solution for Latvia now is the creation of onshore wind farms, supplementing them with large-scale high-capacity solar farms where possible.

With a future outlook, the use of other technologies is also being carefully evaluated.

Other Nord Pool countries are also working to further develop wind energy. It can already be observed that on windy days the price of electricity in Latvia decreases, and in regions where wind power is used for electricity generation, electricity prices fluctuate less. Adding additional capacity to the common grid will stabilise the price of electricity throughout the region and significantly contribute to energy independence and stability.

Learn more:
https://www.ast.lv/lv/electricity-market-review
https://latvenergo.lv/lv/elektribas-cena

Although the coast of Kurzeme is the region that is considered to have the largest abundance of wind resources in Latvia, thanks to the development of wind energy technology, it is currently possible to develop wind farms practically anywhere in Latvia. The newest-generation wind turbines do not require constant and strong wind to ensure generation – they can work from 2-3 m/s and perform efficiently even at relatively low wind speeds. Furthermore, the height and blade length of modern wind turbines allow advantage to be taken of stronger and more steady winds encountered at higher altitudes.

This makes it possible to more carefully choose the best-suited locations for the responsible and respectful development of wind farms.

Questions and answers

Protection of habitats is already ensured during the WPP planning and environmental impact assessment stage by involving certified species and habitat experts who survey the entire area of the intended operations: the potential WPP construction sites, electricity transmission lines, substation sites, access roads. In this way, the adverse impact on specially protected plant species and habitats is avoided as much as possible.

When evaluating the land plots and planning the location of wind turbines, one of the factors taken into account is how the wind farm will fit into the landscape so as not to over-saturate it. In Latvenergo's opinion, a responsibly planned wind farm does not degrade the overall landscape, but, on the contrary, complements it and demonstrates green thinking and the ability to fully use what nature is offering us.

Modern society is used to the comfort provided by electricity and life without it is unimaginable today. The European Green Deal and the increasingly widespread use of electricity in practically all sectors will only increase the demand for electricity in the coming years. Wind power is considered one of the cleanest and safest forms of energy generation; however, it is impossible to fully avoid an impact on the environment and the public. Therefore, various factors that affect or could potentially affect the surrounding environment and population are carefully studied when developing wind farms.

Our operating principles dictate that we operate with responsibility towards nature and society. This also includes planning, considering the project's full life cycle and future prospects. Latvenergo will be operating in Latvia not only today, but also in the future, when the wind farms created today will reach the end of their life cycle.

Already today, 90% of the materials used in wind power plants are recyclable or reusable. The wind energy industry and turbine manufacturers are putting a great deal of effort into finding ways to reuse or recycle the remaining 10% as well. For example, in March 2022, the ZEBRA (Zero Waste Blade Research) project created the first fully recyclable turbine blade prototype. Currently, one of the priorities of the wind industry is to ensure that none of the turbine parts are disposed of as waste at the end of their life cycle but are instead recycled and reused. Latvenergo aims to fully use the potential offered by these technologies, working with power plant manufacturers to build wind farms in a responsible manner towards the future society.

Another aspect in the construction of wind farms is their infrastructure, such as access roads. When planning the construction of wind farms, much attention is paid to the use and improvement of the existing infrastructure. It should be noted that newly built access roads are also available for the general public; for example, to reach previously inaccessible areas for walking in the forest.

A full life cycle analysis is carried out by evaluating all types of electricity generation sources, and, according to the conducted studies, wind power achieves one of the lowest CO2 emission indicators per unit of electricity generated over its life cycle compared to other energy sources. Furthermore, even after the end of the life cycle, it is common practice to upgrade the wind farm and continue using the existing infrastructure.

There are several advantages to using larger and taller wind turbines:

  1. Larger turbines are much more efficient and can even operate at low wind speeds. This significantly expands the suitable area, allowing one to choose the best-suited land plots for the development of wind farms without concentrating them in one area, overloading the transmission network and oversaturating the landscape.
  2. Taller wind turbines can also be placed in forested areas, where it would otherwise be difficult due to the turbulence created by the forest mass. The higher from the ground, the faster and steadier the wind, thus taller turbines allow one to fully harness the wind power.
  3. Wind turbines reaching well above treetops allow to use the area below them – the turbines do not affect the forest growth, they allow low-flying birds to move freely and the rural land below them can be used for agriculture.
  4. Larger wind turbines allow the wind farm to be composed of a smaller number of turbines, thus making more efficient use of the land area and reducing the overall impact on the landscape.

It is also worth noting that tall wind turbines fit into the natural landscape much more organically than, for example, some urban environment objects. In vast fields and massive forests, wind farms organically complement the landscape.

The Latvian transmission grid is ready for wind farms. Augstsprieguma tīkls AS (AST) provides power transmission services in Latvia and constantly invests in the improvement and upgrading of the transmission network. One of the most recent infrastructure investment projects, developed with increased renewable energy capacity in mind, including wind power projects, is the Kurzeme Ring. Already today, it enables the connection and transmission of more than 1,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity.

The impact of wind turbines on everyday mobile communications and internet coverage is rare and virtually never observed. Under especially rare circumstances, where there are concerns that the communication networks could be affected, this is established in advance and prevented by using alternatives to conventional technologies.

As regards national security systems (security radars, aviation communication networks, etc.), there are defined security zones where any development is forbidden and such areas are excluded from the planning process at the very beginning of the project.

Wide, open fields, including large agricultural lands, as well as degraded areas, such as depleted peatlands or quarries, are well suited for the construction of wind farms, both from the point of view of wind potential and limited biodiversity. Latvenergo is considering the options of developing wind farms in various areas; however, the applicable regulations, such as restrictions on the use of agricultural territories of national importance, must be adhered to. Amendments to these regulations are currently under development and they will be amended in the future, but for now these land areas are not available for the construction of wind farms.

Development of wind farms in Latvian national forests has several significant advantages, both from a financial and environmental aspect. The cooperation between two state-owned companies means that all benefits from the project remain within the Latvian state and a single landowner being a partner of the project significantly facilitates the development process. Wind turbines located in forests also reduce the impact on the landscape and nearby population. Planning of wind projects in forested areas requires a careful evaluation of the technologies used and the impact on the diverse habitats found in the forests, yet, provided that the preparation is carried out responsibly, forests are a suitable place for the development of wind farms.

Although concerns have been voiced that a wind farm nearby may have an impact on property values, such impact has been observed very rarely and only in individual cases in Latvia. As long as the wind farm is built responsibly and in compliance with all applicable requirements, there is no valid reason for the property value to decrease.

Do you have any other questions? Submit your question and our specialists will do their best to answer you.

CONTACT DETAILS

Ilvija Boreiko

Vēja un saules parku attīstības direktore

29 182 944 


Edgars Groza

Vēja parku attīstības vadītājs

26 482 472




Andis Antāns

Vēja parku attīstības projektu vadītājs

29 884 306


Dainis Kanders

Vides risku un attīstības projektu vadītājs

29 131 864