Lithuania needs to prioritize energy efficiency and design a renewable energy strategy to enhance both its energy security and the competitiveness of its industries, according to an International Energy Agency policy review on Wednesday.
According to Fatih Birol, the IEA executive director, who launched the report with Lithuania’s Minister of Energy Dainius Kreivys, Lithuania needs to boost investments in clean energy technologies and suggests that hydrogen, offshore wind, and batteries can be real game-changers in the context of Lithuania’s clean energy transition.
The review acknowledged that the country’s impressive track record on its clean energy transition and said it is well placed to lead on clean energy and energy security in the Baltic region, having strengthened its energy policies over recent years.
In 2010, Lithuania became a net importer of electricity. By 2030, the government aims to reverse import dependency and produce 70% of its electricity needs domestically.
The country also targets 100% of electricity from renewables by 2050, which will require electricity systems and markets to accommodate very high shares of variable renewable energy, notably onshore and offshore wind.
The country has made progress and electricity market reforms are underway and Lithuania - along with its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia - is integrating its power system into Continental Europe.
"The carbon intensity of electricity and heat generation has decreased over the past decade, and Lithuania is now comparable with leading IEA countries when it comes to the share of renewables in final energy consumption," it said and added that the Ignalina nuclear power plant was shut down at the very end of 2009, forcing the country to boost electricity imports, but domestic clean power generation is rising fast.
In Lithuania, biomass provides 80% of district heat, onshore wind is growing, and the country’s unique net metering system is driving fast growth in clean distributed energy.
Regional supply security has become a top priority, as the Baltic states ceased electricity imports from Belarus in 2020 and are targeting the full synchronization of their power systems with that of Continental Europe by 2025.
By Murat Temizer