Energize Co2mmunity represented at the national forum of the Horizon 2020 project (Latvia)

At the end of January, Energize Co2mmunity expert Ilgvars Francis from Riga Planning Region represented our project in the Latvia national forum of the Horizon 2020 project “COME RES 9” (Community Energy for the uptake of renewable energy sources).
 
The presentation included successes of Co2mmunity in Marupe municipality and the development and outlook of the Energize Co2mmunity project. The biggest focus was on cooperating with energy policymakers to develop a support mechanism for renewable energy community projects in Latvia – one of our goals with Energize Co2mmunity. 

Co2mmunity partners in Latvia strengthen cooperation with national energy policy makers and local communities

Our partner in Latvia – Riga Planning Region – in cooperation with its major local partners at the municipality of Mārupe implements a renewable energy community pilot project  by establishing and monitoring a citizen-driven RENCOP and thus demonstrating the ways how individuals can work together with a joint purpose to initiate and run a small-scale renewable energy community project in Latvia. Another goal of the pilot activities is to prove that some of the existing problems that impede successful implementation of CE projects can be overcome in practice.

On March 6, 2020, to capitalise on our recent achievements in Latvia, the project team organised a workshop in Riga that brought together the national energy policy makers from the Ministry of Economics, independent energy experts and representatives of local municipalities and household associations to discuss opportunities for a more intensive use of renewable energy solutions and further development of the CE pilot projects in Latvia.

To initiate debate, our Riga team delivered three presentations, focusing on the existing situation in the municipality of Mārupe from the perspectives of renewable energy and energy efficiency, the technical, financial and legal potentials for CE projects in Latvia and the overall progress in the implementation of pilot activities in Mārupe. The presentations were followed by a heated still unanimous exchange of opinions on how to introduce the concept of renewable energy cooperatives to the national regulatory framework.

Meeting with the experts from the national energy policy makers was not the first time our Riga team presented the outputs of their project activities. The project team has already had several meetings with the national energy policy maker to discuss the contents of the local outputs and the contents of the newly approved National Energy and Climate Plan 2030 of Latvia.

The NECP 2030 is the most important strategic energy and climate policy document in Latvia that details goals, instruments and actions that contribute to the development of a climate neutral national economy. For the first time, the plan clearly demonstrates the necessity to encourage implementation of CE approaches in Latvia. It is hoped that the experiences of Co2mmunity will contribute to the elaboration of new instruments that facilitate renewable energy community projects in Latvia.

Co2mmunity workshop on incentives to community energy projects in Latvia

The solutions proposed by the residents of two condominium houses in Mārupe provide for the installation of rooftop solar panels and solar collectors thus co-financing and co-producing energy. The demonstration projects will be complemented by energy data monitoring and real-time imaging on the website of the municipality. The project team, municipal experts and external consultants guide the citizens and provide their expertise, including technical know-how. Other solutions are also currently worked out.

Please contact the project administrative coordinator at Riga Planning Region Mr. Ilgvars Francis (ilgvars.francis@rpr.gov.lv) for more information on our activities in Latvia.

Video about Middelfart, Denmark and Mārupe, Latvia

In the framework of transnational exchange, our project partner Riga Planning Region has produced a video about Co2mmunity in Denmark and Latvia. The first part was filmed at the Climate Day in Middelfart, Denmark in August 2019. You can find the post about the event here. In the second part, the municipality of Mārupe, Latvia explains their involvement into Co2mmunity.

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You can find the video as well as more information about transnational exchange on this page of our website.

Riga Planning Region at the National Energy and Climate Plan 2030 Conference in Latvia

Our partner Riga Planning Region participated in the matchmaking event at the National Energy and Climate Plan 2030 conference in Latvia. The high-profile event, which was organised by the two responsible state ministries – the Ministry of Economics in co-operation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, brought together ministers, state secretaries, their deputies, energy / climate experts, as well as non-governmental organizations of Latvia for the discussion of the final draft of the National Energy and Climate Plan 2030 (NECP 2030), scheduled to be approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia on the 17th December 2019.

NECP 2030 is the most important strategic energy and climate policy document in Latvia which details goals, instruments and actions that contribute to the development of a climate neutral national economy.

The goal of the plan is bettering efficient use of resources, their sufficiency and variety, as well as ensuring gradual reduction of the use of resources, especially fossil and unsustainable resources, and transitioning towards sustainable, renewable and innovative resources to help develop a sustainable energy sector and reduce climate change.

Our partner Riga Planning was invited to participate in the matchmaking event held in parallel with the NECP 2030 forum with the purpose to demonstrate the actual on-going projects that are already contributing to the transition towards climate neutrality.

The matchmaking event provided the Riga team an excellent opportunity not only to share experiences of the Co2mmunity project with other invited transnational cooperation projects but also strengthened the existing links to national energy policy makers. Co2mmunity Riga team intends to invite a representative of the Ministry of Economics to join the Co2mmunity “political” meeting in Tallinn in March 2020 to deliver a presentation on NECP 2030.

Two RENCOP Meetings held in Mārupe Municipality in Latvia

In September, the Riga Planning Region, a Co2mmunity partner, worked in cooperation with the associated project partner Mārupe municipality. Together they organised and hosted two RENCOP meetings where energy experts and local citizens were brought together to discuss opportunities for more intensive use of renewable energy solutions and the further development of the community energy pilot project in Mārupe.

As part of the Co2mmunity activities in Latvia, a citizen-driven community energy pilot project is currently being implemented in Mārupe that involves active participation of inhabitants. The local household community has decided to implement a small-scale community energy project that provides the installation of rooftop solar panels. The project team, municipal experts, and external consultants guide the citizens and provide expertise, including advice on technical solutions.

In addition, the project team has recently contracted local energy experts to elaborate a research study to allow for the evaluation of the technical, financial, and legal potentials or frameworks for the initiation and implementation of community energy projects in Latvia. It is expected that the results of this research will contribute to the development of regional RENCOP roadmap. This roadmap will be used in demonstrating ways on how to establish and develop community energy partnerships in practice. Another purpose of the study is to prepare for the dialogue with national energy efficiency policy holders – the Ministry of Economics – as part of the elaboration of policy recommendations.

Next RENCOP meeting in Latvia is scheduled for November 2019 when the preliminary results of researchers become available.