Rīga bans coal for heating

In Rīga, coal will be banned from use for heating, Rīga City Council agreed December 29, LETA reported.

All heating sources will have to be registered.

This is provided for by the binding rules adopted by the Rīga City Council on the territorial zones for the selection of the type of production of heat and the requirements for the accounting of equipment.

The binding rules define the territorial zones of the municipality of Rīga which will limit the volume of different emissions.

The territorial zones are defined taking into account the spatial dispersion of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 pollution of nitrogen dioxide and airborne suspended particulate matter, as well as the spatial distribution of emissions of individual and local heating installations and the contribution to total pollution levels.

It also takes into account the number of inhabitants exposed to the impact, the type of site use and the availability of the joint heating system.

The first zone, which provides for tighter restrictions, is set in the center of the city, with the exception of Old Riga. It starts from Elizabetes Street and is determined to be down to Pērnavas Street and Klijānu Street. In the southern part, it starts from Satekles Street and moves to the area of Skanstes Street. Some areas of the first zone have also been identified in Čiekurkalns, Teika, Dārzciems, Maskavas forštate and around Āgenskalns. In the first zone, it is planned to mainly use central heating as well as zero emission heating (electric energy, solar panels etc.)

The second zone will cover the majority of Pārdaugava, from Ulmaņa gatve to the city border, as well as some of Āgenskalns and other parts of the city. The second zone will also allow the replacement of an existing biomass combustion plant with a new biomass combustion plant.

The rest of Riga is defined as the third zone with looser rules.

In all three zones, the construction, replacement or installation of fixed installations using coal for the production of heat or electricity or for the provision of technological processes will be prohibited.

As of 2023, the installation of new individual and local heating plants using liquid fuels, including diesel, will be prohibited in all zones.

As of 2025, new individual and local heating plants using all types of fossil fuels will be banned in all zones.In the second zone, heating, hot water supply or technological processes will be preferable to the use of below thermal energy production technologies. However, the installation of combustion plants using gas as a fuel will be allowed if the use of below thermal energy technologies is not technically and economically justified.

Before starting a new generation of thermal energy or changing the type of production of heat energy, it will be necessary to receive a decision of the Riga City heating commission regarding the coordination of the type of production of heat energy.

Binding regulations also provide for the registration and accounting procedures for heating sources with a nominal thermal input capacity up to 0.2 megawatts in the administrative territory of the Riga municipality, as well as the procedures for the control and monitoring thereof.

The local government intends to raise European Union or State funding in order to implement informative measures for the population, as well as to plan and implement support programs for residents for changing the type of heating or replacing obsolete heating systems.

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