Lithuania’s Ministry of Energy has submitted a draft government resolution to stakeholders to identify locations in the Baltic where it is can build offshore windfarms and hopes offshore wind could provide 25% of the country’s electricity by 2030
Vice-minister at the Ministry of Energy Rytis Kėvelaitis said, “Conditions for the development of onshore wind energy have already been created. This is another step forward, creating a favourable environment for offshore wind in the Baltic.
“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.”
The draft was prepared on the recommendations of a working group made up of representatives from state institutions and business associations.
Formed by order of the country’s energy minister, the working group examined a number of issues, including identifying stages of wind development in the Baltic; models for connecting windfarms to power grids; distributing responsibilities and connection costs for projects; selecting locations for windfarms; and the research required. Also considered were possible methods of financial support, regulating permits for territorial waters, and developing an offshore wind supply chain in Lithuania.
Taking into account the objectives of the National Energy Independence Strategy and the National Energy and Climate Plan as well as the recommendations of the working group, the draft resolution envisages that the installed capacity of the windfarm or windfarms could be 700 MW.
A windfarm of this capacity in the Baltic Sea would produce approximately 2.5-3 TWh of electricity per year, which equates to 25% of the country’s current electricity demand.
Preliminary work has identified an area of 137.5 km2 approximately 29 km from shore in an average water depth of 35 m. The average wind speeds in the area are approximately 9 m/s.
At present, Lithuanian legislation does not provide for a support scheme for constructing offshore wind, so it is proposed that the Ministry of Energy should prepare the necessary legislation and support scheme and co-ordinate the proposed support scheme with the European Commission, by 1 June 2020.
The ministry said it might take up to eight years to install the networks to connect offshore wind so developing new networks should be initiated as soon as possible. It has therefore been proposed that country’s transmission system operator Litgrid should begin preparatory work.
The ministry said the first auctions for offshore wind are expected to take place in 2023. It hopes to have the first windfarms generating electricity by 2030.
The draft can be accessed and proposals can be submitted at: bit.ly/3csLWsT
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