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US-Lithuanian energy ties grow stronger with bilateral agreement to develop energy sector transformation

The Lithuanian Energy Agency has signed an agreement on cooperation with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in conducting research in the field of renewable energy development. The agreement will ensure closer cooperation in conducting research on the development of renewable energy.

The latest agreement follows the Memorandum of Understanding between Lithuania’s Ministry of Energy and the US Department of Energy on the Collaboration in Support of Lithuania’s Energy Security and its Pathway to Climate-Neutral Energy Sector by 2050, signed earlier this year.

As envisaged in the Memorandum, in the upcoming years, the Lithuanian Energy Agency, in conjunction with NREL, will jointly conduct a comprehensive study of the Lithuanian energy sector and prepare recommendations on how Lithuania could become completely self-sufficient in electricity generation in the shortest possible period.

Following the study’s results, a transformation model of the Lithuanian energy sector and possible scenarios will be developed. According to the press release from the Ministry, this will provide the most economically efficient and advanced way to enable Lithuania to achieve its goal of consuming all of its electricity from renewable energy sources.

“In order to move towards 100 per cent renewable energy and to decarbonise our industry, we will need to more than triple the amount of renewable energy generation in Lithuania. This is a big challenge for a country that today still imports two-thirds of its electricity”, said Lithuania’s Energy Minister, Dainius Kreivys. 

“NREL is excited for this first-of-its-kind collaboration with the Lithuanian Energy Agency”, said NREL Director Martin Keller. “This study will leverage the full breadth of the lab’s expertise to understand the pathways, innovations, and impacts related to achieving a 100 per cent clean energy future for Lithuania.”

The planned cooperative study will encompass the development of electricity generation sources and their integration, the electrification of transport, industry and other sectors, the impact of the electricity exchange model and the use of hydrogen and green gas and other aspects.

During the preparation of the study, the data of the entire Lithuanian energy system will be collected, prepared and modelled. It will also involve Lithuanian energy sector companies, researchers and socio-economic partners in the collection of data and preparation of the study.

The study will form the basis for the preparation of Lithuania’s third National Energy Independence Strategy after 2030. It is expected to be adopted in early 2024. 

Separately, the agreement also implements the goal of Lithuania’s government’s program to develop the transatlantic energy dialogue and to strengthen project cooperation with the US analytical centres in the field of energy security.

Lithuania plans to have 9 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030. More than 90 per cent of energy demand in 2030 will come from renewable energy sources.

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