Latvian energy market fairly diverse by EU standards

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Latvia's electricity and gas market is now fairly well diversified when compared to its European Union peers, according to new data from Eurostat published March 14.

The market shares of the largest electricity and gas producers in the EU have been decreasing in most countries since 2013 when Eurostat started collecting this data.

A market share indicator describes how much energy the largest company of the network serves in one market. Larger market shares indicate a monopolistic or oligopolistic market. 

In 2021, the market share of the largest electricity producer in the electricity market varied across EU countries. The highest share was recorded in Cyprus (88%), followed by France (79%), Croatia (76%) and Estonia (64%). 

Electricity market 2021
Electricity market 2021

At the other end of the scale, the market share of the largest producer in the electricity market was less than 20% in four EU members: Poland, Lithuania, and Italy (all 17%) and Sweden (19%). 

Latvia sits among a bunch of countries around the 60% mark with a figure of 62%. The figure is significantly down on the figure of 79% from 2013, though it has been rising since 2017's low of 47%. 

For natural gas imports and production, the largest market share was 100% in Estonia, Malta, and Sweden, where only one entity dominated national production and imports. In 2021, the gross available energy from natural gas was only 2.3% of the total in Sweden. Malta is a small market, so it is expected that one entity could cover market needs. 

By contrast, the largest natural gas import and production company had the lowest level of market penetration in Ireland (22%) and Czechia (23%).

Gas market 2021
Gas market 2021

Latvia's figure of 45% shows that, according to the statistics, a formerly monopolistic market has been effectively broken up. From 2013 until 2016 the figure was 100%. 2016 saw the introduction of legislation designed to liberalize the gas market.   


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