Lithuania’s achievements and opportunities for investors – at the international wind energy conference


2017 11 30


On November 28, the Lithuanian Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas took part in the 2017 WindEurope conference and exhibition in Amsterdam. In his speech delivered at the official opening of the event, the Lithuanian minister talked about the development of the Lithuanian wind energy sector. During the event Mr Vaičiūnas met with the heads of largest European wind power companies.

Mr Vaičiūnas presented the participants of the conference with Lithuania’s achievements in the field of wind energy. Lithuania is one of the leaders in the EU in terms on the development of renewable resources. It is forecast that this year will be record for the wind energy sector – wind power plants are expected to generate more than 1.2 terawatt-hours of energy, nearly a third of the country’s total energy output this year.

As the Lithuanian minister proudly stated, a total installed wind power capacity in Lithuania currently makes up more than 500 megawatts (MW), and the country will continue to develop wind power, as provided for in the new national energy independence strategy of Lithuania, which includes ambitious renewable energy targets. It is expected that renewable energy in Lithuania will account for 45% of all generated energy in 2030, and as much as 80% after 2050. Lithuania seeks to ensure that wind power will make up at least 55% of all power generated from renewable resources in 2030; in 2050 this target should reach 65%. 

According to Giles Dickson, the head of WindEurope, an association of key players in the wind power sector, Lithuania’s national energy independence strategy and its targets could stand as an example to follow for other countries.

To achieve these targets, Lithuania, by 2020, plans to hold auctions for the construction of new wind power plants, with a total installed capacity of 250 MW. According to the Lithuanian minister, in developing offshore wind power, Lithuania will rely on the experience of Denmark – an environmental impact assessment, feasibility studies and other analyses required for holding offshore wind power auctions will be carried out before 2021.

“Lithuania stands out in the region as a country which has ambitious targets and long-term plans in the field of renewable energy – Lithuania’s national energy independence strategy envisages achieving the renewable energy target of at least 45% by 2030, including energy generated at wind power plants. This is considerably more than the renewable energy target (35%) proposed by WindEurope to the European Commission, as part of the implementation of the Clean Energy Package,” pointed out Mr Vaičiūnas. 

The Lithuanian minister defined three key aspects of major challenges of the successful and balanced development of wind energy.

“Continuity of policy, security of investments, and a grid’s ability to accommodate wind energy are three essential issues determining the further development of wind energy, and the new national energy independence strategy provides a solution to these issues,” stated Mr Vaičiūnas, when speaking about wind energy development in Lithuania. In his speech, Mr Vaičiūnas emphasized Lithuania’s ambition to become, in the nearest future, a regional energy and renewable energy excellence centre.

The Lithuanian minister also met with the heads of wind power companies Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, Enercon, Nordex, and Vatenfall to present them with Lithuania’s long-term objectives in the field of renewable energy, the planned development of wind energy, and the investment environment in the country. 

“Renewable energy should not only help Lithuania to achieve energy and climate change objectives but also be beneficial for the country’s economy – to ensure competitive energy prices and create jobs in Lithuania. The surveys of WindEurope show, that wind energy supported more than 260 000 jobs in Europe and contributed EUR 36 billion to EU gross domestic product (GDP) last year. With a clear vision of wind power development, part of these jobs could be created in Lithuania,” Mr Vaičiūnas stressed, when talking with the representatives of wind power companies.

Emphasizing the wind power potential of both Lithuania and the whole region, the Lithuanian minister invited the heads of largest European wind power companies to set up subsidiaries in Lithuania.

The annual WindEurope conference attracts high-level politicians, energy professionals, scientists and experts. This year’s conference is attended by over 8 000 participants. The three-day event will host 40 sessions, which will address arising challenges and opening opportunities for wind energy in Europe.