RIGA - Latvia must plan how to strengthen its energy infrastructure to grow the share of renewable resources in its economy, said Latvian President Egils Levits at conference WindWorks. Moving Energy today.
Levits said that he opened the wind energy conference for the third time. Already in 2021, he urged to speed up wind energy projects in Latvia and not to allow our national plans to stay only “on paper”.
"I urged the government to be more serious about our commitment to climate neutrality and fulfilling Latvia’s obligations concerning energy goals for 2030. It seems that the winds have changed fast enough. Today, Latvia has even its own Ministry for Climate and Energy, of which I have been a supporter from the beginning," the president said.
Renewable energy has been high on the European political agenda already for years, and Levits said he was glad that it is a priority now on Latvia’s national energy agenda.
"Of course, the Russian war against Ukraine added an energy security perspective to our thinking about renewable energy. It showed clearly that Europe, Baltics and Latvia have to act immediately to cut all energy ties with the aggressor country," he said.
"Due to the unprecedented energy price spikes, it also added an energy affordability perspective. Energy security and affordability are clear priorities, which also help us to move away from fossil fuels. However, just a shift in our thinking is not enough. Our good intentions must be backed up by our practical plans and hard work," Levits said.
The president underscored that firstly, Latvia has to adapt its national renewable energy policy goals to the current geopolitical situation. A clear vision is needed of the ways to achieve these goals. "For example, we must plan how to strengthen our energy infrastructure to grow the share of renewable resources in our economy. A clear plan will help find the right balance and tools to finance the transition. Finance is one of the biggest problem in energy transition," he said.
Also, together with international partners, Latvia has to actively participate in advancing innovations and solving the challenges related to renewable energy storage.
Third, Latvia should look at the global development of the wind energy sector as a broader economic opportunity that we can benefit from. Some of our manufacturing companies already successfully participate in the global wind industry value chains (Aerones, Naco Technologies). The agenda of today’s event illustrates a clear “to-do” list.
"Last but not least, we still need to raise public awareness of renewable and wind energy, “not in my backyard” phenomenon is still there in our society. Society must see and feel the clear benefits of renewable energy development," Levits said.