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Dombrovskis: support for green energy may be further reduced in Latvia

Published at: Sep 28, 2010
source: The Baltic Course
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Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (New Era) admits that the state's fixed price for energy produced from renewable sources should be reduced even further, according to an interview with the Neatkariga newspaper.

"In any case, there have been problems with this for quite a long time. As we know, one of the last decisions of the government of Ivars Godmanis (LPP/LC) was to define a quota and tariff where the set level of state support was sharply higher than the European average. The question is, are we such a rich country that we can support these projects so generously? Probably not," said Dombrovskis.

Dombrovskis' government has already reduced the set prices for renewable energy by 30%, and the prime minister indicated that overall, it is necessary to move towards the abolition of the quota system developed by the Economy Ministry. In his opinion, the support mechanisms for "green" energy should be set at a lower level, and strict time limits should be applied. "This cannot be made the source of huge sums of money, which in the end will appear in Latvenergo tariffs," said Dombrovskis during the interview.

Regarding comments by EU Commissioner for Energy Gunter Oettinger that Latvia pays 30% more for its gas than Germany, the prime minister confirmed that the difference indeed was about 30%. In his opinion, this proves that the current situation, where the country is dependent on one monopolist, is not economically beneficial, writes LETA.

"At present we are overpaying for gas, and we have no alternative sources," said Dombrovskis, adding that for this reason talks have taken place with Oettinger and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on possible support from the EU budget for alternative projects for the region. As well as diversifying the energy sources of the region, such projects would also encourage "Gazprom" to lower its own prices, indicated the prime minister.

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