Seimas Approves Progressive and Innovative Lithuanian Energy Strategy

Date

2018 06 22

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On the 21st June, the Seimas approved the revised National Energy Independence Strategy (hereinafter – the Strategy). The Strategy provides for four main directions of Lithuanian energy policy – energy security, the development of green energy, efficient energy consumption, and competitiveness and innovation.

"After six years, Lithuania has a new national energy strategy that is progressive and ambitious not only in the regional context, but in the pan-European context as well. We now have clearly defined targets that we are moving towards and striving to achieve. Our main aspirations are to end Lithuania's energy dependence on Russia once and for all, and no longer be either an energy island or peninsula. Also, to expand clean, climate-friendly energy, and to develop and introduce innovations that will allow the consumer to save and the economy to grow," says Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

The strategy received broad support not only in the Seimas, but also from other stakeholders and the public itself. "Therefore, it can safely be called a national agreement on energy", says the minister.

The revised Strategy includes the country's key energy targets for 2030, and defines the guidelines for energy development until the middle of the century. The Strategy reflects the vision of the Lithuanian energy sector – to provide reliable, renewable and environmentally friendly energy to the residents of the country for the most favourable price.

Lithuania's energy security will be strengthened in order to integrate the national energy systems and markets into the markets and systems of the European Union (EU). Two major projects have been planned for this purpose: synchronisation of the electricity network with the European system through Poland (by 2025), and a gas pipeline interconnection between Lithuania and Poland (by 2021).

Another goal included in the Strategy – reducing the country's dependence on electricity imports – will also contribute to national energy security. Reliable and competitive local power generation will be developed as part of this direction. It is planned that by 2030, electricity generated in Lithuania will make up 70 per cent of total final consumption, and that all electricity will be produced in the country by 2050.

The development of renewable energy will not only contribute to energy security by the fact that green energy will be produced in Lithuania, but it will also help meet EU and global climate targets.

In the revised Strategy, it is projected that by 2030, 45 per cent of electricity consumption and as much as 90 per cent of heat energy will be produced from renewable energy sources. Furthermore, all electricity and heat consumed in Lithuania will be produced from renewable and other clean sources by 2050. Renewable energy sources will account for 80 per cent of Lithuania's total energy consumption.

In the new energy policy document, active promotion of electricity consumers to become prosumers is given particularly important role. Residents, who decide to make the electricity they need on their own from renewable energy sources will be given favourable conditions, and various support measures will be developed. It is planned that by 2030, the country should have at least 500,000 producing consumers.

In order to make the country's energy sector competitive, the electricity supply, distribution, and transmission service markets will be separated, and a level playing field will be created for all electricity generation technologies. Energy efficiency in the industrial, building and transport sectors will also be increased, so priority will be given to renovating residential multi-apartment and public buildings and promoting branches of industry that decrease energy intensity and increase energy consumption efficiency.

The strategy envisages that over the next five years, Lithuania should turn from a country importing energy technologies into a state that develops and exports advanced technology. To this end, the experimental and industrial development of energy technologies will be promoted, a renewable energy competence centre will be established, and the potential of the competences accumulated in the field of liquefied natural gas will be further developed.

"It is symbolic that the adoption of the revised Strategy also coincided with the end of several years of negotiations on the European Union's energy and climate targets. Lithuania and the entire EU agreed on long-term energy goals at practically the same time. I hope that we will also implement them not just symbolically, but in reality, together with the EU," says the Minister of Energy.

On the 21st June, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe reached an agreement on the so-called Clean Energy Package – the energy efficiency and renewable energy targets for 2030.

A non-binding 32.5 percent energy efficiency target was agreed on for all EU countries with a 2023 upward review clause. By 2030, EU countries will have to achieve a 32 per cent share of renewable energy in their total energy consumption balance.

All EU countries are also obligated to present their national energy and climate plans by the end of 2018, which must include actions allowing clean energy targets to be achieved.

National Energy Independence Strategy