2019.12.05 09:29

Lithuania ups energy production to switch from Moscow-controlled grid

BNS2019.12.05 09:29

The Lithuanian government approved a proposal on Wednesday to run energy generation auctions, which should increase domestic power production as the country desynchronises from the Moscow-controlled grid by 2025.

The Baltic grids are still part of the post-Soviet BRELL ring, which also includes Russia and Belarus, and remain dependent on the control center in Moscow and the Russian electricity system. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia aim to synchronise their grids with the rest of Europe by 2025.

To implement tha switch, Lithuania needs to ensure sufficient domestic energy production, according to Deputy Economy Minister Egidijus Purlys.

"It is also very important to implement the so-called long-term capacity mechanism. Britain, Poland and Italy are already implementing such measure," Purlys told the Cabinet.

Read more: Lithuanian president signs power grid synchronization package

The Energy Ministry says Lithuania does not yet have in place sufficient incentives for a flexible and competitive electricity capacity market to develop. This leads to a shortage of generation capacity.

Last year, scientists at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) assessed the adequacy of the Lithuanian energy system between 2019 and 2024 and between 2025 and 2030.

In addition to the existing capacity, Lithuania needs to develop new electricity production capacity by 2025, the study showed.

According to Litgrid, Lithuanian power plants had a combined generation capacity of 3,684 megawatts in early 2019, including 1,055 MW at the Elektrėnai complex, 900 MW at the Kruonis hydroelectric plant, and 100.8 MW at the Kaunas hydro power plant.

The country also has an installed wind power capacity of over 500 MW. Two new cogeneration plants, in Vilnius and Kaunas, are expected to be launched next year.

Lithuania currently imports 75 percent of its electricity, with domestic production covering only 67 GWh out of 264 GWh.