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Local opposition to wind projects (NIMBY) impedes project completion in Latvia

Last update: 2021-10-13

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Conflicts with third parties (public opposition, NGOs and environmental groups)

Data from the Market and Public Opinion Research Centre (Pētījumu centrs SKDS) show that in January 2020 81.9% of the Latvian population supported wind energy. However, when it comes to a specific project, public complaints exceed acceptance (the so called "Not in My Backyard" (NIMBY) phenomenon).

According to the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment and its subordinate Cabinet Regulations, a project developer shall conducts initial impact assessment and/or environmental impact assessment depending on the number of wind turbines, their capacity, height, and the area designated for the construction. After a comprehensive assessment of an application, the opinion of a local government, the competent authorities and the public, the relevant state authority, the local government or another authority laid down in the law takes a decision to approve or reject the planned project.

Even if a wind energy project has a positive environmental impact assessment, it can be rejected due to the resistance of the local community. In Latvia, some wind energy projects have already faced strong opposition, predominantly from residents who claimed that wind farms would have a negative impact, including visual presence, noise and falling property value. In the end, the projects were canceled due to the resistance from the politicians and citizens in the municipalities.

Finally, a lack of understanding of the socio-economic benefits of using local resources (creating local jobs, supporting the local economy, ect.) also hinders the use of renewable energy sources in Latvia.

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Competent authorities

For Local opposition to wind projects (NIMBY) impedes project completion

Authority (Original name) Authority (English) Link
Ekonomikas ministrijaMinistry of Economics of the Republic of LatviaVisit
Vides aizsardzības un reģionālās attīstības ministrijaMinistry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of LatviaVisit
Zemkopības ministrijaMinistry of Agriculture of the Republic of LatviaVisit
PašvaldībasLocal authorities


Legal Sources

For Local opposition to wind projects (NIMBY) impedes project completion

Source (original name) Source (english name) Link
Nacionālais enerģētikas un klimata plāns 2021.-2030.gadamNational Energy and Climate Plan of Latvia 2021 – 2030Visit
Likums Par ietekmes uz vidi novērtējumuLaw on Environmental Impact Assessment Visit

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