Offshore Wind Energy in Lithuania
Various activities are concentrated in the 6540 square km of Lithuanian exclusive economical zone (Figure). But the zoning of marine area occurred on sector basis only, those are: fishery areas of open sea and near shore zone as well as for the Curonian lagoon, protected areas, there are separate zones allocated for military purposes, port development and navigation routes. Recent zoning for offshore wind power developments and new marine protected areas are implemented in the frame of international projects (Interreg and LIFE) mainly. Also no zoning for resource mining is implemented to date in the Lithuanian EEZ and territorial waters.
Thanks to active efforts of scientists, users of renewable energy and Lithuanian Wind Energy Association the wind energy started to develop in Klaipeda region. There is more than 153 MW of wind power installed onshore since 2002. First attempt to investigate the offshore potential for wind energy development was initiated by international team, that prepared the INTERREG IIIa project POWER (2006-2008). Perspectives of offshore wind energy development in exclusive economical zone of Lithuania (as well as Poland and Russia, Kaliningrad region) have been investigated. Proper places and possibilities to establish offshore wind power parks and develop offshore wind energy cluster activities have been identified. More than 1GW, or almost half of Lithuania electricity demand, could be produced in those preselected offshore areas.
Several projects of offshore wind parks are under development. The environmental impact assessment studies have been prepared for some preselected areas. At the moment the further development of the parks is suspended due to the uncertainty while issuing permits for offshore installations and ongoing Project of new establishment of Natura 2000 protected areas. The legislative basis for offshore wind power development is provided in new Law on Renewable Energy Sources of Republic of Lithuania, which is under discussion in Lithuanian Seimas now.
Success of offshore wind power development requires efforts of different actors – scientists, businessmen and policymakers, named as Triple Helix. There why SB OFF.E.R activities are very much in line with the current needs of offshore wind energy projects developers and development of independent energy market in Lithuania.