The determination of the vision and roadmap for national biogas/biomethane is part of REGATRACE project. REGATRACE-project is EU-wide project funded by the European Union. Similar process take place in 14 EU-countries in 2020-2021. The Latvian Biogas Association is the Latvian partner in the REGATRACE project.
Latvia has high biogas installed electric capacity per 1 million head of population, generated in 58 biogas stations, build during 2009-2015. However, there has been a steady slow-down in development: the 2011-2013 NREAP targets were comfortably exceeded; the 2014 and 2015 targets were just met; and since 2016 Latvia has lagged further and further behind its goals. 5 biogas plants during this period were shut down after they lost their FiT on administrative grounds. Already 8 years (since 2012) no biogas plant building permission was issued. The biogas production in 2019 reached 298,4 GWh.
But situation is changing, and new plan is developed for biomethane development. Transport energy law proposal was submitted for public consultancy on 24.09.2020. with rapid awareness increase to biomethane market development.
Setting a vision and targets
The first meeting of stakeholders showed increasing interest in biomethane strategy development in Latvia. 17 main stakeholders representing four ministries, different associations, and enterprises, as well and representative of EC representation in Latvia attended the workshop.
Valuable information of biomethane development from EU and Finland position and experience will be recommended for legislative and market changes.
Defined vision shows biomethane importance in modern energy sector and it should become an important part of Latvian economy, in strong interaction with transport and waste sector. Most of the biogas should be converted to biomethane and used in transport sector to reach required emission decrease.
The biggest challenge is non-existing natural gas infrastructure for transport and lack of vehicles.
The low profitability of biogas production is challenging for the sector, as the end-product markets are still developing. The new targeted policy instruments should be developed more actively to reach climate goals till 2025 and developing biomethane production sector and demand for end products.