Lithuania Gauges Offshore Wind Potential

  • R&D

Approximately 3.35GW of wind power capacity can be installed in Lithuania’s Baltic Sea territory, according to a study carried out by Klaipėda University on behalf of Lithuania’s Ministry of Energy.

These are the maximum possible capacities, but the concrete scenarios will depend on infrastructure and financial development conditions, the ministry said.

The study by Klaipėda University’s Marine Research Institute has shown that the best location for offshore wind development is 30 kilometres from the shore of Šventoji, where wind speeds reach 9–10 m/s and the sea depth is 25–40 m. Infrastructure corridors extend alongside.

The researchers provided the ministry with proposals for a few alternative areas in the marine territories that could be used to develop wind farms with capacities of between 200MW and 500MW.

The “Study for the Identification of Priority Parts of Lithuania’s Territorial Sea and/or the Lithuanian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Baltic Sea where the Development of Power Plants Using Renewable Energy Sources is Expedient”  will become the basis for developing offshore wind energy in Lithuania.

During the next stage, the Lithuanian Energy Agency (LEA) will initiate preparation of a special plan for the territory and a strategic environmental impact assessment. The research conducted and the modelling results will also help LEA conduct a feasibility study for connecting to onshore electricity transmission networks, as well as an economic cost–benefit analysis of the development of offshore wind.

Once these preparatory works are done, preparation will begin of proposals regarding the parts of the marine territories and the power capacities proposed to be developed therein, a description of the permits to use marine territories for the development of wind farms, and tendering procedures. These documents will have to be approved by the government.

Once the decisions are made on wind farm capacities and development sites, financing decisions will be taken. According to preliminary estimates, wind farms in the Baltic Sea could begin producing electricity by 2030, the ministry said.

”Offshore wind is one of the most promising and effective sources of renewable energy, and many countries are looking at its development. Our goal is to lay a solid foundation for the development of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea and to maximize the potential of offshore wind,” said Lithuania’s Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

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