The Government approves the draft of Lithuania’s national energy independence strategy

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2017 11 30

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On November 29th the Government held a meeting to approve an updated draft of Lithuania’s national energy independence strategy (the Strategy). The draft Strategy will be submitted to the Seimas for consideration.

“The updated Strategy presents all parties – from consumers to investors – with the vision of Lithuania’s energy policy. We need to have a clear direction and pursue concrete goals,” said the Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. 

The draft Strategy includes the country’s energy targets and guidelines on their implementation by 2030, and outlines the trends of energy development by 2050. The Strategy provides for four key areas of Lithuania’s energy policy – energy security, the development of renewable energy, competitiveness, and innovations.

The energy policy will be aimed at reducing the spending of households on energy consumption and ensuring that the price of energy resources for industries is lower than in other countries of the region.

The Strategy provides for advancing the integration of Lithuanian energy systems and markets into the networks and systems of the European Union in the next five years. The implementation of two major energy projects – the synchronisation of power systems with the networks of Continental Europe (by 2025) and the construction of a gas pipeline between Lithuania and Poland (by 2021) – will lead to the integration of the Lithuanian energy system into the EU energy system.

To increase its energy security, Lithuania is going to develop reliable and competitive local energy production to reduce the country’s dependence on imported electricity. It is expected that in 2020 Lithuania will be able to meet 35% of the country’s energy needs. In 2030, the volume of imported electricity should drop by half, with two thirds of electricity needs to be produced in the country. In 2050, Lithuania is going to meet 100% of its electricity demand.

Increasing energy production from renewable resources is one of the key targets of the Strategy. It is expected, that renewable energy in Lithuania will account for 45% of all generated energy by 2030, and as much as 80% after 2050. Wind energy should make up the largest share of electricity generated from renewable resources – no less than 55% in 2030 and 65% in 2050.

To boost the development of renewable energy, the Strategy encourages energy consumers be become energy prosumers, i.e. to generate their own power. Favourable conditions will be created for households that will choose to generate their own power from renewable resources. It is forecast that the number of energy prosumers will increase up to 34 000 by 2020 and account for nearly 2% of all energy consumers in Lithuania. It is expected that there will be more than 500 000 energy prosumers in Lithuania by 2030.

“Energy in Europe and the whole world is undergoing a remarkable transformation – there is a shift towards new models of energy productions, and consumers are encouraged to change their energy consumption behaviour. The purpose of energy is not only to ensure security but also create a real benefit for every consumer and bring added value for the economy,” pointed out Mr Vaičiūnas.

Energy competitiveness is another major objective of the Strategy. An advanced electricity market will be created to achieve this objective – the electricity supply, distribution, and transmission markets will be separated and a competitive level playing field for all electricity generation technologies will be created.

Another measure for enhancing energy competitiveness is increasing energy consumption efficiency. Taking into account that the biggest energy saving potential is in the industry, buildings, and transport sectors, the Strategy provides for the renovation of residential and public buildings, and the development of less energy-intensive and energy efficient industries.

The fourth objective of the Strategy is a breakthrough in the field of innovations. In the next five years Lithuania intends to progress from an energy technology importing country to a country developing and exporting advanced technologies. To achieve this purpose, Lithuania will promote the experimental and industrial development of energy technologies, establish an excellence centre of renewable energy technologies, and continue to develop competences in the field of liquefied natural gas.

The final report on the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the draft Strategy has been drafted recently.  The SEA was updated taking into account the comments of public members and the assessors of the SEA (the Ministries of Environment, Culture, and Health as well as the State Service for Protected Areas under the Ministry of Environment).

The key objective of the SEA is to establish, define and assess the possible major consequences of the Strategy’s implementation for the environment; to consult with institutions responsible for the protection of the environment, public health, and cultural heritage as well as the public; to ensure that the developer of the Strategy is supplied with detailed and reliable information about the possible major consequences of the Strategy’s implementation for the environment and take this information into account.