Starting this year, AJ Power group of energy companies begins offering a new service in Latvia – implementation of high-capacity solar energy projects in cooperation with landowners. It is a great opportunity for a landowner to add value to unused land through long-term investment with a guaranteed return.

In general, 2021 and the beginning of 2022 have been very challenging for the power industry as an unpredictable increase in energy prices was observed in Latvia during that time. Policymakers, energy companies and other stakeholders have been discussing the development of more active renewable energy production in Latvia for several years. The recent situation has only reaffirmed the need for development of industrial solar power plants, the construction of which would diversify production capacity and stabilise electricity costs in the long term, preventing uncontrolled increases in electricity prices. However, although the use of solar energy solutions is improving, Latvia still lags far behind the other Baltic countries, even though Latvia has all the necessary preconditions to effectively use the potential of solar energy.

The cooperation service offered by AJ Power includes performance of a feasibility study, reaching agreement on cooperation model and signing a contract, preparation of detailed calculations and documentation, as well as attracting funds and even construction of a solar park.

“In Latvia, solar energy has become one of the most attractive investments in the market. Due to several circumstances, now is the best time for implementation of such large-scale solar parks: first of all, it is the European Green Deal, second, the rapid increase in energy prices and, third, the need to reduce Latvia’s dependence on energy supplied from third countries. This is also confirmed by the fact that in recent years we have already implemented many significant solar panel projects in Latvia, which serve as excellent examples of the great potential of solar energy. At the moment, solar energy projects with a capacity of more than 1,400 kW are under construction, while projects with a capacity of 25,000 kW are already in development. Our new service is based on cooperation that we offer to landowners. By combining our long-time knowledge and local expertise, we can offer landowners cooperation in development of high-capacity solar power plants in Latvia,” explains Roberts Samtiņš, CEO of AJ Power.

According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), Lithuania and Estonia have been able to add additional electricity generation capacity, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy sources (RES). By 2022, only 14 MW (megawatts) of solar generation capacity has been installed in Latvia, while in Lithuania it is 259 MW and in Estonia 370 MW. It is obvious that Latvia’s neighbours are actively working to reduce the deficit of electricity generation capacity, while Latvia has not yet realised this potential.

In 2021, a total of 5.6 TWh (terawatt hours) of electricity was generated in Latvia – by Daugava hydropower plants (47%), thermal power plants (34%), biomass (7%), biogas (5%), cogeneration plants (4%), wind farms (2%), small hydropower plants (1%), solar parks (0.04%). In turn, electricity consumed in Latvia amounted to 7.4 TWh. By developing additional solar power plants, Latvia can contribute to reduction of electricity consumption as the green electricity produced would be used for own consumption. In turn, if the green electricity produced by such solar power plants were transferred to the main electricity grid, Latvia's energy balance would improve. There is also wind-generated electricity, which could have a similar effect on Latvia’s energy balance, but currently solar energy is much more accessible to the general public.

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