During the last 5 years, more than 30 cogeneration plants where biogas is burned have been built in Latvia. The biogas plants help Latvia to comply with the European Parliament and Council Directive 2009/28/EC  on the promotion of renewable energy initiated on 23 April 2009. The directive states that the share of renewable energy must reach 40% of the total final energy consumption by 2020. By using biogas produced in biogas plants, the share of renewable energy in Latvia has increased. At the same time, the production of biogas is new for this country; therefore, there has been a lack of a systematic approach in the planning procedure of biogas plants. An environmental evaluation of biogas plants during the planning process is essential. According to Latvian legislation, an Environmental Impact Assessment screening has to be performed during the biogas plants planning step. Within the research, quantitative and qualitative criteria for biogas projects evaluation are developed.
Biogas projects, impact assessment, EIA, renewable energy, impact signifi cance, Latvia
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