In order to achieve Lithuania’s ambitious strategic goal of producing 100 per cent of the country’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050, wind energy will play a significant role. A major part of the electricity – about 55 per cent – is expected to be generated by wind parks, which are planned to be installed both onshore and offshore.
Participants in the Lithuanian wind energy sector have made a commitment to seek partnerships with local businesses where possible when developing their projects. In this way, they will contribute to regional economic growth, while proactively involving the local communities in relevant discussions and maintaining an open dialogue with all stakeholders.
“The National Energy Independence Strategy and its implementation plans are tied to public confidence and expectations regarding the consumption of clean energy in the country,” said Aistis Radavičius, Director of the Lithuanian Wind Power Association and Chairman of the Council. “They oblige us, as participants of the wind energy sector, to continue to be actively developing new projects. At the same time, we understand that comprehensive partnerships with local communities are very important in achieving the goal of clean energy and we have already recorded examples of good practices in Lithuania. The document signed by the Council will establish this standard as a commitment for its members which, we believe, will lend positive momentum to the whole sector.”
The document covers three essential aspects. The first is the importance of establishing an open dialogue with all the stakeholders to ensure that everyone has access to information about the projects from the early stages of planning. The second issue is to communicate and collaborate with local communities, which will give them an opportunity to get involved in the process and at the same time to discover the added value for a particular area. The third matter is strengthening partnerships with service providers in the local market so that the development projects will help to maintain and create jobs in these regions.
“By recognising this commitment to local communities, we want to emphasise that we will remain open and ready for dialogue,” continued Mr Radavičius. “Through our cooperation with local residents, institutions and businesses, we can both contribute to the implementation of the strategic goals for the whole country in the energy sector, as well as helping support economic growth in specific regions.”
Ignitis Renewables, an Ignitis Group’s company managing renewable energy projects in the Baltics and Poland, was among the signatories of the document.
“Ignitis Renewables contributes towards the implementation of strategic goals of Ignitis Group to increase its green production portfolio and in recent years, actively invests into wind farms in Lithuania and abroad,” said Aleksandr Spiridonov, General Manager of Ignitis Renewables. “We are developing several new wind farms and are planning the expansion of assets of capacity, therefore, the cooperation of communities is vital to us. We understand that we must coordinate wind energy development with the added value to the community members, that is why we are encouraging bilateral dialogue with the communities.”
At the moment Ignitis Group’s companies own four wind farm projects in Lithuania with the total capacity of 58 megawatts (MW) and an 18 MW-capacity operational wind farm in Estonia. The 94 MW-capacity wind farm in Poland is under construction and should be operational in 2021. In about three-years-time, the Mažeikiai wind farm will start producing green energy with its total operational capacity of 63 MW.
Overall, there are 23 wind parks currently operating in Lithuania, with a combined energy capacity of 480 MW. In 2019, the wind parks produced 1.45 terawatt-hour (TWh) of electricity or 13 per cent of Lithuania’s total electrical consumption. According to public opinion polls, up to 82 per cent of the Lithuanian population supports the further development of wind energy in our country.