College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering

Day 6: The University of Physics and Mathematics - Latvia

We arrive at the University of Physics and Mathematics - Latvia this morning greeted by a little rain and a very enthusiastic student representative. Wind Turbine production in Latvia for the purposes of electricity began in 1934. Since 1995, they now have 50 meter tall turbines being used primarily in the Gulf of Riga. Wind energy production appears to still be in its infancy here, as most of their Project GORWIND is still in the planning and policy phase. Lativa currently does not produce wind turbines, but they do produce some parts. They are currently focussing on research of small experimental designs. While they are very into renewable energy and have a large wind energy potential, most of the renewable energy focus is in biomass. The country currently produces 33% of their energy from renewable sources. Latvia currently produces about 30 MegaWatts from wind energy. There is a lot of local opposition to wind energy due to NIMBY Syndrome (Not In My Back Yard).

The rest of today is exploring the city and a big dinner at a local traditional restaurant with dancing. Unfortunately, the "Baltic Blues" have caught up with me, and I spent the rest of the day sleeping and trying to get better. Apparently, there is a cold virus of some sort in this region and our entire group is slowly getting it. It isn't too bad, but it really wipes you out for about a day, and then it lingers for quite a while.


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