Motivation

Radiation received from sun is 10000 times greater than the annual global energy consumption. Solar energy has been successfully used in several countries for producing electricity and heating, leaders being Germany and Scandinavian countries. Baltic countries have been considered as lacking sun radiation, thus solar energy has not been used there so far. However, according to radiation maps, annually on average Latvia receives 1109 KWh solar energy per 1 m2, Lithuania - approximately 1000 KWh/m2 (Lithuanian PV NTP, 2006), while Germany - 1031 KWh/m2 and Scandinavian countries - approximately 1000 KWh/m2, thereby proving equal capacity of using solar energy. Sun radiation levels are highest in the western part of Kurzeme and north-western part of Klaipeda (more than 1200 KWh/m2). Taking into account sun radiation levels and rapid development of solar technologies, there is a lack of implementation of solar energy in regions suitable for it, like Kurzeme and Klaipeda.

According to EU directive 2001/77/EC particular amount of energy consumption has to be produced by renewable energy sources (RES) in member states from 2010. Although aimed at stimulating competition and developing RES sector, the guidelines for efficient support mechanism laws that are the main development drivers of RES are not defined. Latvia’s Cabinet Regulation No. 198 suggests 0.01% of electricity consumption should be produced by solar energy, with a feed-in-tariff 427 EUR/MWh for solar energy producers. Two companies have received quotas a year ago, but no batteries have been installed so far, pointing to inefficient state support mechanism in the field. Moreover, a separate law on RES is planned to be designed by fall, 2010 that has not even started yet. In Lithuania, the Renewable Energy Stimulation Law is still in its preparation phase. So, the legal basis for solar energy implementation is underdeveloped and a lack of long term strategy in the field exists in both countries

In order to solve the mentioned problems, the utmost priority is designing a motivating and development encouraging state support mechanism, using Germany and Scandinavian countries as a benchmark. To apply it to Kurzeme & Klaipeda case, local energetics experts of Latvia and Lithuania are needed. After designing suggestions they should be handed to Latvian and Lithuanian governments as well as respective municipalities in the region of Kurzeme and Klaipeda. Society information is needed for people to start using solar energy in households. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels should be installed in high radiation regions of Kurzeme and Klaipeda for measuring electricity that can be produced from 1 m2 of solar battery to demonstrate transforming solar energy into electricity in practice. The results together with suggested ideas for state support mechanism should then be presented to society, focusing on Kurzeme and Klaipeda because of the highest possible efficiency of using solar energy.