The Latvian Member Committee of the World Energy Council

Sunday, 31 October 2021

In the interwar period, an urge to improve energy generation and rational use of energy resources both on the European and global scale become increasingly apparent. As the result of this, at the suggestion of the Great Britain, The First World Energy Conference was carried out in July, 1924, in London, which gathered together 1700 representatives from 40 countries.  Latvia was also a part of this very special and historical moment - it was represented by Dr. ing. h. c. M. Bīmanis, a professor from the University of Latvia.

In the conference a number of issues connected with power and its application were discussed. The participants of the conference also concluded that the National Committees should be founded in individual countries to study, develop and improve energy supply sector as a crucial part of the national economies.

Soon after the conference, on December 11, 1924, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia decided to establish the National Power Committee - the predecessor of current Latvian Member Committee (LMC) of the World Energy Council (WEC).  Therefore,  the National  Power  Committee  was  formed  in  January,  1925, and it was formed by the representatives of the following departments and organizations:  the  Ministry  of  Finance  -  two members,  the  Ministry  of  Agriculture  and Communications  -  one member,  the  University  of  Latvia  -  three members,  the  Bureau  of  the  Latvian Engineers and Technicians - one member, the Bureau of the Town Congress - one member, the Society of the Riga Factory Owners - one member, and the Union of Industry and Handicraft - one member. Already, at one of its first meetings the Committee draw a conclusion that it was necessary to work out an overall scheme for the use of energy sources in Latvia.

For this purpose, the members of the Committee decided to set out a preliminary plan for the electrification of Latvia. This ambitious work was planned to be concluded in 1927, but in reality, it took much more time to complete: resulted of the fundamental research "Latvijas elektrifikācijas pamati - elektriskās enerģijas paredzamais patēriņš un valsts enerģijas krājumi.  Orientējošs pārskats" ("Foundations of the Electrification of Latvia - the Expected Consumption of the Electricity and Energy Resources of the Country. An Indicative Overview", 292 pages and an Appendix) was published in 1931.  The practical result of this work, so significant for Latvia, was a construction of Kegums hydropower plant on the Daugava River in rather short period of time. It, due to the cheap hydropower, opened a wide perspective for efficient development of the Latvian national economy. The National Power Committee played a crucial role in these efforts.

During the Soviet period the National Power Committee was not able to continue its work, and the revival came only when the independence of Latvia was restored.

In March, 1992, members of the LMC organization committee: Professors V. Zebergs and N. Zeltins, sent a letter to I. D. Lindsay, Secretary General of the WEC, with a request to restore the LMC in the WEC. The letter indicated that the LMC fully recognizes the WEC authority, is ready to take an active part in its activities and cover the membership fees.  It was also highlighted, that the spectrum of the LMC members will be very wide: from power engineers, representatives of the Latvia's leading energy companies and system operators, to professionals in fields of banking and finance.  In order to re-start the LMC membership in the WEC, a restoration meeting, which took place on April 22, 1992, was arranged with the participation of 43 representatives from 25 organizations.

Now society WEC LMC is one of the most prominent professional energy organizations in Latvia, which includes corporate members from both practical field of energy generation, transportation, distribution and storage, and from the academia. Since 1992 and to this this day it has been very active participant of all crucial WEC events - including all Word Energy congresses. WEC LMC representatives participate in numerous WEC research and expert groups. With support of its members, the Board of WEC LMC is taking part in discussions on development trends of the Latvian energy sector and its political and legal framework.

In 2021, WEC LMC has initiated the national young energy leaders project, which gathers together young and promising professionals - the future core of the Latvian energy sector, in order to discuss, learn and interact for energy prosperity of Latvia and Europe as a whole.

Last Updated Tuesday, 24 May 2022

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