In 2022, Lithuania’s wind farms generated 1.51 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, or about 11% more than in 2021, when they generated 1.35 TWh. Last year, electricity production at wind farms almost reached the level of 2020, when a record of -1.55 TWh was set in the history of Lithuanian wind energy.
In total, Lithuania will generate 4.25 TWh of electricity in 2022 – almost 60% (2.545 TWh) of the total from renewable energy sources (hydropower, wind, solar, ambient heat, biomass and biofuels). This is the first time in the country’s history that the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources has been more than half of the country’s total electricity production.
Last year, electricity from wind farms accounted for 13.5% of Lithuania’s final electricity consumption or 2% more than in 2021.
According to the Ministry of Energy, the installed capacity of wind power plants in Lithuania increased last year. About 370 MW were added during the year and at the end of the year, the country had a total installed capacity of 946 MW of wind power plants (803 MW of wind power plants in the transmission grid, 143 MW of wind power plants in the distribution grid). They represent 62.4% of the renewable energy installed in the national grid.
According to the State Energy Regulatory Authority (SERT), 627.2 MW of wind power projects had been granted production permits at the end of 2022.
According to the LVEA, around 40 wind power and hybrid projects are currently under development in Lithuania, which would bring the capacity of wind power plants to 2.6 GW.
The development of renewable energy sources is a strategic objective for the country. The aim is to generate more than 90% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.
Wind energy in Lithuania 2021
In 2021, Lithuania’s existing wind farms generated 1.36 TWh (1356 GWh) of electricity, 13.8% less than the 1.54 TWh (1544 GWh) generated in 2020. This represents 11.5% of Lithuania’s final electricity consumption. Last year was an exceptionally windy year, not only in Lithuania but also across Europe.
In total, 3 TWh of electricity was generated from renewable energy sources in 2021. According to estimates by the Lithuanian Wind Energy Association, wind accounted for 45.6% of all green electricity generation in Lithuania last year (including the Kruonis HPP).
“According to Litgrid data, the total installed capacity of wind power plants in Lithuania is 671 MW. This represents almost 60% of the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources.
The amount of electricity generated by wind power plants is expected to grow in the future. With Lithuania aiming to generate 100% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2050, the amount of electricity generated by wind power plants should triple by 2030.
New wind farm projects are currently being developed in more than ten Lithuanian municipalities, with a combined capacity of more than 800 MW. Most of the larger projects are being developed on a commercial basis, without state subsidies.
Wind energy in Europe
Last year, 17.4 GW of new wind power capacity was installed in Europe: 14 GW onshore and 3.4 GW offshore. This is 17.5% more wind power than in 2020 (11 GW) but 11% less than WindEurope’s forecast. However, new wind capacity in Europe is less than half of what Europe needs to build in a year if it is to meet its 2030 climate and energy targets.
According to WindEurope, the UK accounted for the most new wind power installations last year, with 2.7 GW (88% of which were offshore), followed by Sweden with 2.1 GW, Germany with 1.9 GW, Turkey with 1.4 GW and the Netherlands with 1.3 GW. These countries accounted for around 54% of the total number of new installations in Europe last year.
Last year, 3.3 GW of offshore wind capacity was installed in Europe. The United Kingdom had the highest number of offshore wind installations, with 2,317 MW, followed by Denmark with 605 MW and the Netherlands with 392 MW. They accounted for 19% of the total new wind capacity built in 2021. The average capacity of newly built turbines in 2021 was 4 MW for onshore and 8.5 MW for offshore wind farms.
In 2021, wind farms accounted for 15% of Europe’s electricity needs. Denmark (44%), Ireland (31%), Portugal (26%), Spain (24%) and Germany (23%) accounted for the largest share of electricity demand from wind. Lithuania, meanwhile, generates 11.5% of its electricity needs from wind.
A total of 236 GW of wind power is in operation in Europe. 12% of these are offshore. Of the total operating wind power capacity in Europe, 65% is spread across five countries: Germany (64 GW), Spain (28 GW), the UK (27 GW), France (19 GW) and Sweden (12 GW). Lithuania, meanwhile, has only 0.67 GW of wind farms.