Lithuania’s new energy strategy bets on wind and prosumers

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Lithuania’s new green-oriented government has approved an updated draft of a new national energy independence strategy, which will now be submitted to the country’s unicameral parliament (Seimas).

The new strategy, which provides specific targets and guidelines up to 2030, and general energy development trends to 2050, aims to reduce power imports and increase renewable energy electricity generation.

The Lithuanian government is hoping to completely eliminate power imports by 2050; by 2030 is aims to halve them, with two thirds of electricity consumption produced domestically. Furthermore, the government calculates that around 35% of Lithuania’s total power demand can be covered by domestic generation by 2020.

As for the renewable energy targets, the government said renewables are expected to meet 45% of energy demand by 2030, and up to 80% by 2050. Wind is forecast to capture the largest share of power generated by renewable sources, at 55% by 2030, and 65% by 2020.

As for solar energy, which was not directly mentioned in the government’s statement, its not negligible share will very likely be driven by the government’s self-consumption strategy. “To boost the development of renewable energy,” the government said in a statement released, “the Strategy encourages energy consumers be become energy prosumers, i.e. to generate their own power.

“Favourable conditions will be created for households that 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.” More details on how prosumers will be supported, however, were not provided.

The strategy also includes the synchronisation of Lithuania’s power systems with the networks of Continental Europe by 2025, measures to increase competitiveness in the energy market and provisions for energy efficiency.

Lithuania is currently supporting residential and commercial PV through a net metering scheme. Thanks to this mechanism, which was recently augmented by the government, around 200 MW of PV capacity is planned to be deployed in Lithuania by 2020.

Lithuania had 73 MW of cumulative PV capacity installed at the end of 2016, according to data provided to pv magazine by Vitas Maciulis, president of the Lithuanian Solar Energy Association (LSEA). Most of this power, around 68 MW, was installed between 2011 and 2013, when an overly generous FIT scheme was in place.