RIGA - MP Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance), the National Alliance's nominee for Latvia's next economics minister, has underscored the need to promote the use of renewable energy and attraction of investment.
Asked about priorities for the energy sector, Indriksone told LETA that Latvia needs to ensure energy independence by switching to renewable energy sources. In heating supply, it is necessary to continue outgoing Energy Minister Janis Vitenbergs' (National Alliance) work aimed at ensuring the transition from natural gas-fired heating equipment to renewables, the Economics Ministry's parliamentary secretary Indriksone said.
The ministerial candidate also noted the necessity to develop solar and wind energy projects. Asked whether it would be necessary to give wind farm projects national importance status, as many of them are being delayed because of some local authorities' objections, Indriksone said that the issue has to be dealt with on the national level, respecting at the same time local residents' rights to voice their opinions and assess these projects.
Indriksone said that a draft law has been prepared at the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry's initiative to make development of large wind farms projects of national importance.
The ministerial candidate also noted the importance of building insulation programs, which have to be continued to ensure an efficient use of thermal energy.
The planned desynchronization of the Baltic states' power grids from the Russian network was also mentioned by Indriksone as a high priority. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia plan to exit the Russian and Belarusian electricity supply chain BRELL and join the Central European network in the next few years by building stabilization facilities with support from EU funds.
As reported, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) is ready to move forward with Economy Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Ilze Indriksone for the post of economy minister, and to put her candidacy forward for Saeima approval. Karins and Indriksone had a meeting Thursday, during which they discussed the most important tasks for the sector, as well as the main priorities of the Economy Ministry.