Alternative energy is becoming more popular in Latvia. Sun, wind, biomass - production of energy out of renewable resources causes less damage to the environment. Experts from different institutions and higher education institutions spoke to Vidzeme Television about efficient and feasible production of this energy at home.
Head of the international "OFF-GRID DIY" project which involves a do-it-yourself approach to renewable energy sources at home, Līga Krūmiņa Krīgere, said:
“The aim is to break stereotypes or misconceptions that in Latvia, there is not enough sun, that it is not feasible."
Meanwhile, bicycle expert Gatis Kreicbergs introduced his trade – to convert old, broken bicycles into a useful energy production source by attaching pedal system to household items. Pedaling power can provide energy to pump water, slice and grate food products, even do laundry.
"It requires some skill, preferably welding, cutting. But the structure is very primitive, it can also be made from plywood, just nail some together, it's going to work,” Kreicbergs said.
A washing machine can be made within three days, and Kreicbergs himself uses it everyday. Altogether, he has made over 30 silly bikes.
He has an idea to use pedal energy in public places, such as to charge cellphone batteries at the mall.
On the other hand, the experience of solar collectors was shared by Andrejs Snegirjovs, expert at the Institute for Physical Energy. He made the equipment with his own hands, and it produces heat - so he can warm up water, for example, for an outdoor shower.
“This project had the task of assembling the solar collector system from readily available means, for example, found at a DIY store,” Snegirjovs said.
He added that appliances that convert solar energy into electricity and heat are becoming more affordable.
“There was a big boom in 2012, previously there were only a few professional companies that dealt with this. More than a hundred companies now,” said the specialist.
As regards safety, experts said that it is important to register solar panels in the Sadales tīkls system, so they are monitored. It should also be noted that the installation of solar panels requires the payment of a natural resource tax.