Lithuania, which has announced plans to build an initial 700-MW offshore windfarm in the Baltic, has agreed a joint partnership with land-locked Luxembourg to explore opportunities to collaborate on renewable energy, with a focus on offshore wind.
Luxembourg does not have a coastline but is keen to obtain more of the energy it needs from renewable sources.
Lithuania vice minister for energy Rytis Kėvelaitis told the Reuters Events: Offshore & Floating Wind conference on 1 October 2020 that the aim of the memorandum signed by Lithuania and Luxembourg was to explore opportunities and technical, legal and other issues relating to joint development of offshore windfarms. “As a land-locked country, Luxembourg is looking for partnerships,” he said.
In June, Lithuania’s Cabinet of Ministers confirmed the selection of a 137.5 km2 area that has been designated for the development of 700 MW of offshore wind in the Baltic. An auction for that capacity is due to take place in 2023.
The offshore wind capacity built following the auction should begin to produce power in 2028. The minister told the conference that Lithuania has identified areas for an initial 3.4 GW of offshore wind capacity that could be built without infringing on environmentally sensitive areas. More offshore wind will also be built in the long term.
In September 2002, Lithuania was one of eight countries in the Baltic to sign a joint declaration with the European Commission to accelerate the build-out of offshore wind capacity in the region.
In July 2020, Luxembourg Minister for Energy and Spatial Planning, Claude Turmes – who has several times advocated that land-locked countries should be able to benefit from offshore wind tenders in European waters – participated in a ministerial conference of North Sea Energy Cooperation (NSEC).
“We must take advantage of the full potential of the North Sea,” he said. “Even if we have zero metres of coastline, our country can play an important role in this development.”
The minister noted that leading turbine manufacturers operate from Luxembourg and highlighted the role that Luxembourg plays as a financial centre and as a home for the European Investment Bank, which itself plays an important role in financing offshore wind.
Minister Turmes said construction of offshore windfarms in the North Sea “will therefore not only help Luxembourg achieve its renewable energy objectives, but also add value for the economy and the Luxembourg financial centre.”