On April 7, 2010 LATO hosted a discussion with Latvia’s independent energy expert Juris Ozoliņš. The discussion took place in the big hall of the Latvian Academic Library with more than 35 people attending, among them experts of the energy sector, researchers, businessmen, representatives of political parties, non-governmental organisations, students and others. The discussion was devoted to the topical issues of Latvia’s energy policy in the regional context.
During the discussion Juris Ozoliņš introduced the audience with such aspects of energy security as the importance of infrastructure in securing of energy supplies, the importance of development of sources of renewable energy, interconnection between energy transportation and energy security etc. The audience touched such issues as the necessity to introduce new energy solutions in Latvia, making corrections in energy policy, which defines the development of this sector; the importance of the education system and development of innovations in the energy sector; introduction of the quota system in the energy market and other issues.
Juris Ozolins graduated from Riga Technical University specializing in Power Systems, Power Plants and Networks. For more than 25 years of his professional life he has been involved with the Latvian Power Company and holding positions in Latvian Government offices. He was Minister for Energy in 1994/95 and later Energy Advisor to Prime Minister of Latvia. Since 2000 he has worked as a freelance consultant in various national and international energy projects. Juris was team leader on development the Latvian Grid Code and chaired the Forum of Baltic Transmission System Operators and Regulators which marked the turning point for the Baltic Electricity Market. His experience was utilized in Balkan countries and Moldova. Recently he completed his mission as Legal Expert in Energy, Environment, Transport and Telecommunications for Ukrainian-European Policy and Legal Advice Center sponsored by EU. He assisted in finding solutions to the Ukrainian – Russian “Gas Wars”. Since 2005 Juris has been Special Advisor to European Commission in Cabinet of Energy Commissioner Mr. Andris Piebalgs. His duty in this position expires when new Commission took offices.