Latvenergo Group’s care in preserving biodiversity and mitigating the environmental impact of its operations is among the core principles of the Group’s Environmental Policy.In its operations, the Group plans and implements measures that are aimed at preserving biodiversity. The main initiatives in this field include replenishment of fish stocks and reinforcement of the Daugava riverbanks.
In compliance with applicable law, Latvenergo Group makes annual contributions to replenish fish stocks in the Daugava River basin and invests in the reinforcement of the Daugava riverbanks and the maintenance of protective engineering structures.Spending on fish stock replenishment is directed towards artificial replenishment of fish populations, thus minimising the impact of the Daugava HPPs on fish stock.In 2018, the payments within this programme amounted to EUR 1,035 thousand, ensuring the release of 600 thousand salmon and sea trout smolt fry, 820 thousand pike perch, whiteﬁsh and vimba fry, and 6.9 million lamprey larvae into the Daugava River basin.Since 2017, the cost of the reinforcement of the Daugava riverbanks has been covered through the natural resource tax on water used at HPPs for electricity generation. EUR 3.59 million was paid as tax in the reporting year.
Latvenergo Group cooperates with the association Mēs zivīm on issues related to replenishment of fish stock.
In 2019, LatvenergoGroup continued cooperation with the association Mēs zivīm (For Our Fish). In April 2018, 400 artificial spawning nests were placed in the Kegums HPP and Riga HPP reservoirs to stimulate the replenishment of common fish species in the Daugava River basin. In 2018, the Perse River Clean-up Project waslaunched in cooperation with the association Mēs zivīm and Koknese Municipality Council. Within three years of the project, the river will be cleared of fallen trees and beaver dams, improving the water flow rate and ecological quality and providing more favourable conditions for different fish species.
In addition to the above-mentioned fish stock replenishment activities, Latvenergo Group prevents fish die-off when it lowers water levels to perform necessary repair work at HPPs during the summer season. When water levels at the hydropower plants are lowered to carry out repairs, the Group adjusts the HPP operation modes and arranges the inspection of exposed areas in cooperation with the association.
Study of fish migration and natural replenishment possibilities in the Daugava River basin
In 2017, a study on fish migration and natural replenishment possibilities in the Daugava River basin, which was initiated in 2013, continued. The purpose of the study is to understand the behaviour of Atlantic salmon in spawning places in the Ogre River and analyse the ability of this species to acclimatise. In the autumn of 2017, 20 marked salmon were released into the Ogre River, followed by monitoring and analysis of the data obtained. The results of the study will be used in planning other scientifically justified fish stock protection activities in the Ogre River and the Daugava River, supplementing current activities and contributing to natural replenishment of fish stock.
On bird protection and research, Latvenergo Group cooperates with the Latvian Ornithological Society (LOS). Particular attention is paid to the protection of white storks. The White Stork Monitoring Project, carried out by Latvenergo Group and the LOS in order to gather information on the white stork population in Latvia, is now in its seventh year. At least 12,000 white stork couples nest in Latvia, and power line poles are their most frequent nesting sites. In 2018, 7,948 white stork nests were found on electricity line poles in Latvia. To ensure compliance with electricity supply safety requirements and reduce the number of white stork fatalities on electric lines, 903 potentially dangerous nests were removed from electricity line poles in 2018 following approval from the environmental authorities. During the nesting period, the birds are disturbed only in exceptional cases where the safety of the electricity supply or the public is endangered.