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Lithuania to promote offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea

Lithuania’s ministry of Energy has submitted a draft Government Resolution to stakeholders for coordination on locations in the Baltic Sea where it is expedient to develop wind farms.

Proposals were also submitted regarding the capacities of the power plants which could meet one-quarter of Lithuania’s demand.

“Conditions for the development of onshore wind energy have already been created and this is now another step forward, creating a favourable environment for wind energy in the Baltic Sea,” said Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. “Offshore wind will be a new and significant turning point in Lithuanian energy, as electricity generation from offshore wind is more efficient and has greater potential than onshore. Fierce competition will begin for investment in this area, and we need to be as well prepared as possible for this.”

The draft was prepared on the basis of the recommendations of a working group which examined the following key issues: possible stages of wind turbine development in the Baltic Sea, models for connecting the turbines to power grids, distribution of responsibilities and connection costs, selection of locations for the turbines in marine territory and research that must be done.

Taking into account the objectives of the National Energy Independence Strategy and the National Energy and Climate Plan, the draft Government Resolution envisages that the installed capacity of the wind farm would reach 700 megawatts (MW). A wind farm of this capacity in the Baltic Sea would meet 25 per cent of the country’s current electricity demand.

At present, the legislation does not provide for a support scheme for the construction of offshore power plants. It is proposed to entrust the Ministry of Energy with preparing the necessary bills regulating the support scheme for power plants to be developed in Lithuania’s territorial waters and coordinating the proposed support scheme with the European Commission by 1 June.

The first auctions for offshore wind are planned to be announced in 2023. The power plants should be built and start generating electricity by 2030.

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