Author: Baiba Šelkovska, Communication Manager, Vidzeme Planning Region

From 24 to 28 February 2020, the Vidzeme Innovation Week was held with more than 26 events throughout Vidzeme region. Efficient building management, engineering networks and energy management systems in municipalities were the topics in the frame of the Innovation Week. The LowTEMP pilot projects in Latvia and the District Heating Knowledge Platform were presented in two events.

As part of the Vidzeme Innovation Week, the first event was held on February 24 in Smiltene municipality called “Energy Management in Vidzeme”. More than 40 participants from local municipalities, energy managers, public building managers, representatives from district heating companies and others attended the seminar. The seminar focused on how to convince decision-makers to implement various energy efficiency measures. Energy consumption data monitoring system and the ability to visualise and compare data across time periods and sections was identified as one way of convincing.

Aluksne municipality has installed data monitoring systems for several educational institutions in the city, collecting data on electricity, water, and heat consumption. In turn, a LowTEMP pilot project of Vidzeme Planning Region on low-temperature district heating was implemented in the pre-school educational establishment “Pienenīte”. Mārtiņš Kaļva invited the seminar participants to look at their heating unit premises and try to find solutions to improve them. The pilot project modernised the heat supply in the kindergarten and collected data on indoor temperature, humidity in each group and CO2 levels in the gym. On the 27 February, the topics of efficient building management and energy efficiency in buildings were presented in the frame of the Vidzeme Planning Region conference “Responsible Innovation – between bioeconomy, circular economy and smart services in municipalities”. Also, the pilot project in kindergarten “Pienenīte” was presented in the conference’s parallel session on “Development of innovative services for public administration”.

Watch the video and learn more about LowTEMP pilot project in kindergarten “Pienenīte”:

The LowTEMP pilot project was implemented also in the village of Belava in order to reduce heat losses in heat supply networks and to create an efficient and modern district heating system. “Along with the modernization of heat supply, a remote data reading system has been installed, which measures and stores data on heat produced, consumed, temperature of incoming and outgoing heat carrier, indoor climate. In addition, solar radiation, wind speed, and outdoor temperature data are collected by an outdoor weather station,” explained Sandis Kalniņš, energy manager in Gulbene municipality in the seminar “Energy Management in Vidzeme”.

Riga Technical University leading researcher Vladimirs Kirsanovs introduced the LowTEMP District Heating Knowledge Platform. The platform provides heat load graphs by entering the required data, as well as information on network operators, heating demand and methods for implementing a low-temperature district heating system in the project partner countries.

In order to consolidate the information collected and to take the next steps in the necessary measures to improve energy efficiency, the development of Energy Action Plans is still ongoing in the Vidzeme municipalities. In addition to the existing Energy Action Plan for the municipal building, the municipality of Gulbene is currently developing an Energy Efficiency Plan and an Energy Management System in Gulbene within the framework of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region project “Act Now”. Smiltene municipality presented a common methodology for developing sustainable energy and climate action plans for European municipalities in framework of the “Life Adaptate” project.

Professor of Riga Technical University Dagnija Blumberga presented the implementation of the Green Deal platform in Latvia. One of the tasks of the platform will be to facilitate the design and development of innovations, to analyze the potential negative effects of decision-making and to set the conditions for sustainability, to design and implement new and robust analytical tools for climate action assessment.

The seminar “Energy Management in Vidzeme” was organized within the framework of Vidzeme Planning Region projects “EFFECT4buildings” and “LowTEMP” in cooperation with Smiltene municipality, Gulbene municipality and Riga Technical University.