The conference "Nordic-Baltic Solutions for Smarter Cities in the Region. Energy Efficiency: Towards Complex Climate & Energy Plan" was held on 7th September 2017, in the Riga Latvian Society House, Merķeļa Street 13, Riga.

The majority of the Nordic-Baltic region cities are small and medium size with different challenges than the global metropolises. The aim of the conference was to address energy efficiency issues at all levels of governance – from state to municipalities and their SMEs, to enhance know-how exchange among Nordic and Baltic energy actors, and provide practical examples for future development/ current regulatory gaps for smart cities, focusing on two particular areas – district heating and mobility solutions, including integrated smart street lighting projects. 

The conference was organized by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia in cooperation with AS Rīgas Siltums (Riga district heating, municipal SME), Ministry of Economics/ Norwegian bilateral aid,  Energy Security Commission/ State President’s Chancellery, the Embassy of Sweden in Latvia, the Embassy of Finland in Latvia, the Embassy of Denmark in Latvia, Smart City Cluster of Latvia and Nordic Energy Research.

"Current and future priorities for Nordic energy cooperation. The challenge of closer Nordic and Baltic cooperation", by Mr. Johan Vetlesen, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Norway and Chairman of the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Energy Policy

“Strategy for the future Nordic-Baltic cooperation on energy and energy efficiency”, by Mr. Hans Jorgen Koch, Nordic Energy Research

“What Nordic Baltic energy cooperation context should Latvia take into account, planning its future for energy efficiency”, by Mr. Juris Ozolins, Energy Security Commission

“New challenges and prospectives for smart cities in the opinion of Latvenergo” by Mr. Oļegs Linkevičs, Dr.Sc.Ing. R&D, Head of Development section Latvenergo

“Building Energy Efficient Cities: Lithuanian experience”, Inga Valuntienė, Chief Operating Officer at JSC “Teisingi energetikos sprendimai”

“Targets and actions behind Smart & Clean Helsinki Metropolitan initiative”, by Ms. Sari Tasa, Program Director at Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland

“Smart solutions for small city”, by Mr. Jurijs Strods, Deputy chairman of the Jelgava City Council

“Fossil free Stockholm with smarter district heating”, by Mr. Gustaf Landahl, Head of Department, GrowSmarter coordinator, Environment and Health Administration Stockholm

“AS “RĪGAS SILTUMS” - mounted air humidification system OPTINOX (Denmark) performance characteristics”, by Mr. Reinis Ozoliņš, Engineer of Production Division of JSC "RĪGAS SILTUMS" 

“Barriers for flexibility in the district heating-electricity interface” (Flex4RES project) by Mr. Klaus Skytte, Head of Energy Economics and Regulation, Systems Analysis Division, Technical University of Denmark; Flex4RES projectSmart grid Transitions System solutions and consumer behavior

“What circular economy brings to district heating sector,” by Ms. Julia Sundberg, Country Manager, Fortum Latvia

"Smart city development trends: before and now”, by Mr. Dusan Raicevic, Business developer, VeraPark

“Public lighting network as central infrastructure platform for smart city technologies”, by Ms. Zaiga Fogelmane, VIZULO, and Mr. Guntis Čoders, Citintelly

“Artificial intelligence on the edge and its role in making cities Smart”, by Mr. Juris Puce, 4SmartStreets


The on-site visits and demonstrations about Smart city solutions in practice were organized on September 8, 2017. 

The first visit went to Ziepniekkalns CHP. JSC “Rīgas siltums” is the main heat supplier of Riga. The JSC ”Rīgas Siltums” manages and distributes 76% of the thermal energy in the city of Riga. 77% of the thermal energy is used for heating of residential houses and for preparation of domestic hot water. The total length of city’s heating network is about 800 km, 72% of which are owned by the JSC "Rīgas Siltums".

The next visit went to Jelgava. Participants visited City Council and Municipal Operative Information Center. Jelgava city has one of the most advanced Municipal Operative Information Center In Latvia. Jelgava city has implemented many other smart city solutions that create a comfortable living environment for its inhabitants. 

And the second visit in Jelgava went to cogeneration plant on biomass FORTUM in Jelgava. Jelgava Biomass CPH Plant is the largest and most modern CPH plant in Latvia that uses renewable energy. Jelgava CPH Plant is capable of providing up to 85% of the city’s district heating load, replacing the existing production capacity, where natural gas was used. The production capacity of Jelgava power plant is 23 MW electricity and 45 MW heat. The plant produces approximately 110 GWh of electricity and 230 GWh of heat per year. This production form is energy and cost efficient and together with renewable fuels, it is CO2-free.

The on-sites visits ended in Iecava, where we visited LED luminaire production facility VIZULO. VIZULO is technology driven lighting producer with the focus on smart city concept development. It is specialized in LED luminaire production for street, commercial, industrial and architectural LED lighting. VIZULO group’s lighting products are exported to 27 countries all over the world.