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Lithuania’s Energy Minister proposes changes in wind energy sector

Wide attention will be devoted for the development of wind energy in Lithuania. The Ministry of Energy has revised and submitted to the Government the draft project of the Renewable Energy Resources Development Programme for 2016-2020, which will be more favourable to all electricity consumers and promote investment in the development of wind energy, informs LETA/ELTA.

Based on the draft programme, the installed generation capacity using wind energy should grow by another 250 MW next to the already planned boost of 500 MW. This would raise the total inland wind power farm capacity by up to one and a half times.

The Ministry of Energy has proposed to continue supporting wind energy developers but seeks for the support not to affect electricity consumers and not to increase electricity tariffs. The development of inland wind power plants would be promoted through supporting investment in wind farms. This could be done by allocating finances from the European Union structural funds administered by the Ministry of Energy once the planned measures are implemented and 2014-2020 EU fund investment programme is reviewed. After the revision of the programme it should be known how much money may be allotted for the investment in wind power plants.

“The development of renewable energy resources is a priority nearly all across the globe. We understand the importance of the issue and approve of the development of renewable energy resources. If there was an opportunity to support investment from the EU structural funds, we would facilitate conditions for wind energy developers but electricity tariffs for consumers would not grow,” said Lithuania’s Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis.

Upon receiving EU support for investment, wind farm developers would have to act under market conditions. Until now wind energy has been supported by guaranteeing a tariff for 12 years for which generated power is acquired. All electricity consumers pay for this because support for renewable energy is financed from the budget of public service obligations. Public service obligations are included in the final electricity price. In 2015 approximately EUR 63.7 million was allotted from the public service obligations budget for electricity generation using renewable electricity resources.