Latvia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on May 4, 1990, Latvia became a member of the European Union (EU) in 2004.
In 2022, Latvia’s economy was ranked 99th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of broadcasting equipment, sawn wood, wheat, packaged medicaments, and fuel wood.
In 2009, Latvia and other members of the European Union (EU) committed to the “Renewable Energy Directive,” which requires each country to use renewable energy for 20% of its total energy needs by 2020 and 27% by 2030.
In 2016, Latvia and other members the EU signed the “Paris Climate Agreement”. The EU committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, state-owned utility, Latvenergo used renewable energy (61.6 %), and natural gas (38.4 %) to generate electricity in Latvia. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Latvia.
Recent renewable energy projects in Latvia include:
- 200 MW Wind + Solar Hybrid Project – Lithuanian energy company Ignitis is continuing work on a hybrid wind and solar project in Latvia. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2028
- 110 MW Solar Project –Danish renewable energy company European Energy is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 100 miles west-northwest of the nation’s capital, Riga. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024
- 100 MW Solar Project – In January 2023, Lithuanian renewable energy company Green Genius has announced plans to build a solar project at a site approximately 85 miles southeast of Riga. Project construction is forecast to commence in June 2023.
Latvia imports the majority of the nation’s fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) for power generation, heating, and transportation. In 2020, Latvia spent U.S. $1.78 Billion just for imported refined petroleum.
In 2021, Latvia used natural gas to generate 38.4 % of the nation’s electricity. In 2021, Russia provided 92% of Latvia’s natural gas imports.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union placing embargos on Russian exports. The international price for crude oil increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
On 30 July 2022, Russian energy company, Gazprom halted natural gas exports to Latvia for refusing to pay in the official Russian currency, rouble.
Latvia’s priority is to not be dependent on any Russian fossil fuel imports. Latvia has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower.
Latvia is fast-tracking green, low cost renewable energy projects to ensure energy security.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.
 Latvia Population (2023) – World Population Review, January 13, 2023
 World Bank, Access To Electricity (% Population) – Latvia
 Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer
 The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Latvia
 Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”
 Our World In Data, Kingdom of Latvia: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser
 The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Latvia Imports
 Statistica, “Share of gas supply from Russia in Europe in 2021”, 11 August 2022
 Reuters, Russia’s Gazprom Halts Gas Supplies To Latvia,” 30 July 2022