Preparations for the development of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea are intensifying. The Ministry of Energy submitted relevant amendments to legal acts to the Seimas, the Government approved the funds required for the preparatory work, and the Lithuanian Energy Agency announced the procurement of the necessary marine studies. The Lithuanian Wind Power Association shares a summary of the most important events of the last quarter of this year.
On 10 December, the Ministry of Energy, together with the Lithuanian Energy Agency (LEA), announced the international procurement of environmental and public health impact assessment with regard to 700 MW offshore wind park to be developed in the Lithuanian maritime territory. This assessment must be completed by 2023, when tender for the development of offshore wind energy will be announced.
The environmental impact assessment will identify the potential direct and indirect impacts of offshore wind power plants on the seabed, water, landscape and biodiversity. It will be paying special attention to species and natural habitats important for the European Community, as well as other species protected under Lithuanian law, fisheries, and cultural heritage values. A mandatory period of two years for bird monitoring, starting in the spring of 2021, has been established for the research work, as the bird monitoring process must include two summer–winter seasons.
A procurement for the preparation of an engineering infrastructure plan has also been announced. LEA, under the authority of the Ministry of Energy, has announced an international procurement by open tender.
On 2 December, the Government decided to allocate EUR 7.5 million for preparatory work for the development of offshore wind power plants in the Baltic Sea. According to the Ministry of Energy, the offshore wind park in the Baltic Sea is one of the most important projects envisaged in the National Energy Independence Strategy, which will increase the production of local electricity from renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on electricity imports.
The Government also approved a draft resolution creating conditions for the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority to invest in infrastructure in the port that would be used for the production, assembly and storage of wind power plants and their components, and for the creation of new jobs.
Earlier, in September, a draft amendment to the Law on Energy from Renewable Sources was registered in the Seimas, providing the most important aspects for offshore wind energy development. However, due to the Seimas elections held in October and the relatively long protracted formation of the Government, discussions on these amendments are postponed and will be taking place in the spring session of the Seimas.