Energy cooperation between Lithuania and Ukraine translated into concrete projects

Date

2019 09 02

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On 28–29 August, Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas visited Ukraine. As Ukraine shifts to renewable energy and seeks to diversify energy sources, Lithuania is stepping up energy cooperation with this Eastern Partnership country.

During the visit, the minister participated in the opening of a new-generation Lithuanian solar power plant. A 2-MW solar power plant has been equipped in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk Oblast that uses highly efficient and durable solar modules manufactured in Lithuania. Three innovative components are integrated into these new-generation modules, resulting in an estimated increase in efficiency of up to 50 per cent. It is currently one of the most advanced solar power plants in Europe.

“Energy cooperation is undoubtedly beneficial for both countries. Lithuanian companies are strengthening their positions in the high-potential Ukrainian market, and not only as investors – they are also exporting unique products with high added value produced in Lithuania. Ukraine, which is trying to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, is increasing its energy independence and security. Lithuania is a strong supporter of Ukraine on its European path, and energy is becoming the area where we consolidate that assistance and support,” said Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

The minister noted that together with Denmark, Estonia, Spain and Portugal, Lithuania is among the five most ambitious countries in the EU in terms of renewable energy targets for 2030. Lithuania achieved its 2020 goals as early as 2014, and renewable energy sources currently account for 27 per cent of total energy consumption.

During meetings with representatives of government and state insatitutions, opportunities for further cooperation in the field of biomass were discussed. Adopting Lithuania’s best practice, Ukraine is creating a legal framework that would make it possible to develop a competitive biomass market and introduce the Baltpool biomass exchange system.

The innovative Lithuanian biomass trading platform that was created in 2012 has been successfully implemented in Latvia, Estonia and Denmark, and will be launched in Finland, Poland and Sweden in the near future.

A ministerial meeting with Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev touched upon the ongoing restructuring of the natural gas system in Ukraine, which is aimed at developing a market-based gas sector. It was noted that once the Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania (GIPL) is constructed and the Baltic and European gas systems are connected, new opportunities will emerge for countries like Ukraine.

In 2017, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Lithuania and Ukraine on energy cooperation. The memorandum provides for cooperation in renewable energy, particularly in the development of biomass and solar projects, as well as in the natural gas market, by sharing expertise in the field of nuclear decommissioning.

In order to strengthen the bilateral partnership and ensure continuous cooperation, the post of Lithuanian attaché in Ukraine was introduced in July.

Energy cooperation contributes to the objectives of Ukraine’s European integration policy and to the implementation of Lithuania’s Eastern Partnership policy.