Vilnius-based Green Genius has revealed that it will build an unsubsidized PV installation in Jekabpils, Latvia. Upon completion, the 100 MW project will be the country’s largest solar installation to date.
Lithuanian energy company Ignitis has purchased a 200 MW hybrid solar-wind project in Latvia. The installation is in the early stages of development, with construction scheduled to begin in 2025.
Panels will be installed at waste sites in five mining towns as part of the latest, €2.4 billion ($2.57 million) round of investment from a fund set up to help coal-dependent European member states with the energy transition.
The latest numbers released by EU data body Eurostat indicate renewables, including hydropower, contributed 37% of Europe’s gross electricity consumption in 2020, up from 34% a year earlier.
The Baltic state has offered energy-intensive, international-facing industries up to an 85% discount on a surcharge levied on electricity consumers since May 2017 and made the scheme wider ranging this year, in a move approved by the European Commission.
The latest, seven-year investment attracted offers worth more than €100 billion from investors and means the European Union has already generated €54 billion of the €80 billion of bond proceeds it is aiming for this year, as part of its five-year, €800 billion NextGenerationEU support package.
A call for grant proposals has been promised this month, with the bloc’s executive yesterday firing the gun on a separate exercise related to cross-border EU energy infrastructure projects.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have seen uneven development in PV installations to date, and the three Baltic states are still highly dependent on imports from Russia. Estonia needs to replace aging energy infrastructure, and so far it has led the region in PV deployments. Latvia, meanwhile, has a high level of hydro in its energy mix, and less incentive to build PV. IHS Markit analyst Susanne von Aichberger examines the latest policy developments in the Baltic states.
Estonia relies heavily on oil shale, which accounts for 4% of the country’s GDP. The Baltic state is working to increase green hydrogen production, but PV is projected to maintain a marginal role despite the recent growth. We spoke about it with Estonian energy company Alexela and cleantech start-up PowerUP Energy Technologies.
Researchers have developed a high-resolution geospatial method of assessing the solar potential of all buildings in the EU and concluded rooftop PV could provide a quarter of the bloc’s electricity needs. The scientists say grid parity for rooftop solar has been reached outside eastern member states with cheap fossil fuel electricity.