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Being green or Biofuels in Latvia

March 9, 2010
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By Aigars Lazdiņš
Biofuels and green energy generally are connected to highly developed Scandinavian countries. But Latvia also has its own good share of biofuel users and distributors.
Biofuels are made from renewable energy sources, usually plants. This has recently caused a lot of controversy around the world because of the possibility of farmers abandoning their food crops to grow government subsidized non-edible crops usable for the production of biofuels thus increasing famine around the world.
Depending upon their ingredients and refinement processes, biofuels can actually create 95 percent smaller CO2 emissions into the Earths’ atmosphere than ordinary fuels, “Statoil” claims on its webpage http://www.statoil.lv. Coincidentally, Statoil is one of the biggest fuel salesmen in Latvia.
Despite the controversy, biofuels are still becoming more and more widely used in the European Union (EU). Thanks to EU regulations, most fuel sold in Latvia also has to have at least five percent of biofuel mixed with it. This of course means good business for local biofuel retailers. Recently the government has decided that the five percent of biofuel should be required for winter diesel too.
That doesn’t mean all people in Latvia think green.
“I just buy what I can get. If it [the biofuel mix-in] will make the fuel much more expensive, I’ll just go to Latgale and buy some fuel that’s been smuggled in from Russia,” says one truck driver.

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