Janis Kazjonovs, Andrejs Sipkevics, Andris Jakovics, Andris Dancigs, Diana Bajare and Leonards Dancigs
Strategy of the European Union in efficient energy usage demands to have a higher proportion of renewable energy in the energy market. Since heat pumps are considered to be one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems, they will play an important role in the energy consumption reduction in buildings aimed to meet the target of nearly zero energy buildings set out in the EU Directive 2010/31/EU.
Unfortunately, the declared heat pump Coefficient of Performance (COP) corresponds to a certain outdoor temperature (+7 °C), therefore different climate conditions, building characteristics and settings result in different COP values during the year. The aim of this research is to investigate the Seasonal Performance factor (SPF) values of air-to-water heat pump which better characterize the effectiveness of heat pump in a longer selected period of time, especially during the winter season, in different types of residential buildings in Latvian climate conditions. Latvia has four pronounced seasons of near-equal length. Winter starts in mid-December and lasts until mid-March. Latvia is characterized by cold, maritime climate (duration of the average heating period being 203 days, the average outdoor air temperature during the heating period being 0.0 °C, the coldest five-day average temperature being −20.7 °C, the average annual air temperature being +6.2 °C, the daily average relative humidity being 79 %).
The first part of this research consists of operational air-towater heat pump energy performance monitoring in different residential buildings during the winter season. The second part of the research takes place under natural conditions in an experimental construction stand which is located in an urban environment in Riga, Latvia. The inner area of this test stand, where air-to-water heat pump performance is analyzed, is 9 m2. The ceiling height is 3 m, all external wall constructions (U = 0.16 W/(m2K)) have ventilated facades. To calculate SPF, the experimental stand is equipped with sensors which provide measurements for electricity consumption and gained heat energy.
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Rural tourism is one of the opportunities, which can positively influence productivity and incomes in rural areas. European Union set the rural development as part of its priorities. This development has been conducted through several measures aimed at education, cooperation, municipality development, ecological agriculture, diversification of economic activities, etc. Rural tourism is a result of diversification of economic activities towards non-agricultural activities. The paper focuses on analysing financial tools of support used for rural tourism development. Development projects realized in the Nitra Self-governing Region (NSR) during programming period 2007 - 2013 (plus 2 years) are evaluated. These projects have been financed through different grant schemes created by the European Union (realised by Ministries, Local Action Groups, Agricultural Paying Agency) and also by the Nitra Self-governing Region. The paper also illustrates the localisation of approved projects and their purpose.
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The European Union is a representative and guardian of fundamental values that secure the guarantees of the democratic functioning of the Member States. One of the core values of the European Union and of democracy is the rule of law, which includes, inter alia, the compliance of any interference with the law and the primacy of higher laws. The basic question is whether these core values are binding on the EU legislator itself as well? In this context, further questions can be raised such as whether the territorial approach inherent in Article 174 of the Treaty, which is the basis of the European Union’s operation, to what extent it prevails in EU law? How the countryside, as a territorial unit deserving particular attention, does appear in legislation and in EU development policy? Does the legislator strive to enforce the fundamental goals set out in the Treaty – such as strengthening cohesion, mitigating territorial differences? The paper seeks to address these issues primarily on the basis of an assessment of the EU draft legislation for the post-2020 period.
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