Another step towards membership of the International Energy Agency

Date

2020 09 01

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) is conducting joint emergency response and in-depth energy review in Lithuania on August 31 until September 11. This is one of the key conditions for Lithuania’s accession to the IEA.

“This is a regular procedure for the IEA member states. It is repeated every 5 years and will be the first for Lithuania seeking membership in this prestigious organisation. The fact that this procedure has been initiated in Lithuania means that we are even closer to participating in the activities of one of the most influential energy organisations in the world,” said Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

The evaluation will be aimed at analysing whether Lithuanian legislation complies with IEA standards. The main focus will be on Lithuania’s goals and actual situation in the fields of oil, natural gas, electricity, renewable energy, energy statistics, energy technologies and innovations, etc., as well as the regulation of oil stocks in the event of an emergency. Positive conclusions of the IEA secretariat and of experts from the IEA member states are one of the key elements necessary for Lithuania to be approved as a member of the IEA.

“A year has passed since the idea to join the IEA and Lithuania’s application to become a member of the IEA until Lithuania’s energy review process - this is a record time, therefore, I believe that Lithuania’s membership in the IEA will be confirmed in a record time - already 2021,” stated Mr Vaičiūnas in his welcome speech when opening a video conference of the IEA joint review.

At the end of the review, IEA Secretariat and experts from member states will prepare recommendations to the Lithuanian government on energy policy. These recommendations will constitute the basis for a comprehensive report, which the IEA is going to prepare for about half a year. The results of the review will also be discussed in the IEA committees.

It should be noted that the IEA board approved in June 2019 Lithuania’s request to join this prestigious organisation, and this year the Seimas approved amendments to the Law on State Stocks of Petroleum Products and Crude Oil regarding the use of oil stocks. This allowed for the IEA Member States to take collective action on the use of oil stocks in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

The IEA member states accumulate stocks of petroleum products and oil in order to respond to oil supply disruptions in the IEA member states, price fluctuations and crisis situations. Since the IEA started operations in 1974, a mechanism involving response to oil supply changes and the use of national oil stocks has been applied three times.

After these reviews have been carried out and the IEA board agrees that Lithuania meets the standards of membership of the IEA, the Seimas will have to ratify the Agreement on an International Energy Program of 18 November 1974. Lithuania will then be able to become a full member of the IEA. This is expected to take place in 2021.

The accession process usually lasts up to five years, but Lithuania is ready to implement the membership requirements as soon as possible in order to benefit from the IEA membership as early as possible. IEA expert knowledge is of particular importance to Lithuania. It would allow the country to speed up changes in the energy sector, seek optimal solutions in the transition to climate-neutral energy, strengthen national energy innovation policy and increase energy efficiency.