The number of installed solar energy solutions in Latvia has increased by 66%
The number of households and companies in the Baltics, that became electricity producers instead of consumers has more than doubled last year. Also in Latvia, the number of microgeneration projects in 2020 has increased by 66%, and, according to the aggregated data from the energy company Enefit, it is mainly caused by the solar energy solution installation. In 2020 Enefit group companies have carried out more than 400 solar energy projects in the Baltics with the total power output of 8,5 megawatts.
Last year already 1155 consumers from households and companies in Latvia used solar energy as their electricity source. Enefit has carried out more than 100 solar energy solutions in Latvia, most of them being installed in households. The largest number of solar power stations has been installed in Estonia - 285 projects with the total power of 8 megawatts. However, in Lithuania 34 projects were carried out withe the total power of 0,4 megawatts. The largest project in the Baltics was a solar energy park with the power output of 348 kilowatts. Solar panels are installed as often on roofs as on the ground.
"Many households and companies, that previously were not sure about solar energy, have seen the full potential of this solution also in the Baltic region. Besides, in Lithuania and Estonia the available state support provides additional motivation for reducing environmental impact by becoming climate neutral. In Latvia, however, such support is not provided, nevertheless clients still actively use the opportunity of paying for the panels by installments by using monthly savings in the electricity bill," says Krists Mertens, CEO of the energy company Enefit.
The interest in energy production comes not only from the price drop of the technology, but also from the fact, that by purchasing less electrical energy from a network, the "Distribution grid" payments are reduced, and also it is possible to sell the excess energy, which is not used for self consumption. Currently more than 2500 customers in the Baltics are operating as small electricity producers by selling the electricity produced in their households or companies to Enefit.
As Krists Mertens points out, at the moment companies have the opportunity to choose a cooperation model, where a solar power station is installed in the company's teritory, but the installation process and maintenance is carried out and financed by the electricity trader: "In this cooperation model, the solar panel system is owned by Enefit, but a contract is concluded with the client, where the client is able to buy the produced electricity for a very reasonable price, while the excess electricity is sold on the market. At the end of the contract, the company has the opportunity to buy out the solar panels and acquire them. Enefit has currently already carried out 15 such projects in the Baltics, and they are mostly chosen by companies, which do not want to make immediate investments into the green energy, but want immediate electricity cost reduction."
Contrary to some beliefs, Latvia is a good place for solar energy production. Besides the more moderate temperatures increase the efficiency of solar panels. Only during winter the sun is positioned lower, which reduces the production output, however the total yearly amount of produced energy is sufficient in order to reduce the electricity bill by half.
The interest for electricity production solutions for private houses and companies is growing rapidly, in fact more and more people are interested in autonomous energy solutions. This potentially means the development of electricity storage services in the near future.