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Last Updated: September 2014

Overview


Map of Latvia
Map of Latvia
  • Latvia, which regained its independence from Soviet Union in 1991 and joined the European Union (EU) in 2004, is not a notable energy producer or consumer. The country produced 30 trillion British thermal units (Btus) and consumed 163 trillion Btus of total energy in 2011, which places it in the bottom five among the EU countries on both measures.
  • A majority of Latvia's energy consumed in 2013 was imported, and the country is nearly 100% dependent on Russia for its fossil fuel imports. Domestic energy production is limited to small amount of liquid fuels - about 1,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) from biofuels - and hydropower, wind, and biomass and waste produced for electricity generation.
  • The Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia indicated that the country imported over 5.0 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas and 3,900 bbl/d of petroleum products in 2013, while it consumed 4.3 bcf and 2,400 bbl/d. Exports and stock changes make up the differences between the country's imports and consumption of these fuels.
  • Latvia generated 459 million kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity in 2013 according to the Central Statistical Bureau, with 49% coming from hydropower, another 49% from fossil fuel sources, and the remaining 2% from wind and biomass and waste, including the country's sizeable peat resources. Latvia imported 417 million kWh and exported 304 million kWh of electricity, leaving about a net 572 million kWh for domestic consumption.
  • Latvia was a key country for Russia's oil exports to Europe through its Ventspils oil terminal located on the Baltic Sea coast, but with the opening of Russia's port at Primorsk and the Baltic Pipeline System in December 2001, Latvia's role in Russia's crude oil and liquid fuels exports has eroded dramatically.
  • On the other hand, Latvia continues to play an important role as a transit country for Russia's natural gas exports. In addition, it is the only Baltic country with a functioning natural gas storage facility, the Incukalns facility, which helps meet increased European demand during winter months.
  • Latvia's integration into the EU energy market is a priority of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP). The goal of the BEMIP is to create a single market for the Baltic Sea region and to establish inter-country connections. As is the case with its Baltic neighbors, Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia remains connected to the Russian electricity grid, but the market and management of the system is not consistent with EU requirements.