Latvia sees major potential in peat
One of the goals outlined in the Latvian Energy Strategy 2030 is “to promote use of local energy resources, including peat extraction.” This view is also supported by the Latvian Energy Guidelines 2014–2020, which state “There is potential for peat extraction. Energy peat extraction at peatlands that are already prepared for extraction, with an existing license, can be started in areas totaling around 4,000 hectares.” The Guidelines further indicate that there is a need to “evaluate the opportunities of effective use of peat and acquisitionrelated conditions.”
Latvia’s use of peat for energy is the lowest among Europe’s peatproducing countries. Peat is mostly used by individual households. However, as the Latvian Energy Strategy states, peat is seen as having major potential. This is understandable since imports account for 70% of Latvia’s energy consumption. Latvia is highly dependent on natural gas and has a shortage of energy. The energy value of Latvia’s peat reserves suitable for production is estimated at 663 terawatt hours (TWh). Increasing production to 700,000 tons would enable the generation of 2.1TWh of energy per year.