Lithuania will need to have at least 700MW of offshore wind capacity up and running by 2030 to meet the targets included in its National Energy and Climate Plan that the Baltic country earlier this year has submitted to the European Commission, energy minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas said.
Lithuania targets renewables to make up 45% of its power mix by 2030, which would likely translate in a production of 7 terawatt hours in that year, the government in Vilnius has said. That would be up from 1.3TWh in 2017.
“It was very clear that our target for 2030 without offshore is mission impossible,” Vaičiūnas told the opening session of WindEurope Offshore 2019 in Copenhagen.
“This was shown by the national energy and climate plan.”
The 700MW by 2030 coincide with the potential identified by a WindEurope report on the Baltic Sea, which also estimates the country’s potential for wind at sea by 2050 at 3.4GW, a volume also seen as realistic in an analysis by the Klaipėda University’s Marine Research Institute concluded earlier this year for the government.
To be able to build a first 700MW of offshore wind in Lithuania, the country is considering holding first tenders for offshore wind projects in two years time, Vaičiūnas said.
To “synchronize” the Baltic power market with the rest of continental Europe, Lithuania in parallel for the past four years has been discussing the possibility of a subsea power interconnection with Poland, dubbed ‘harmony’.
“Now we are at the planning stage. This cable could have a capacity of 700MW,” the minister added.
With Poland itself having plans to install more than 10GW of offshore wind in its part of the Baltic Sea, Lithuania sees a big potential.
“With the new government [in Warsaw], there is hope that there will be a new impetus for regional cooperation,” Vaičiūnas said.