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Experts: new sources of electricity generation would also be needed for the development of renewable energy

Experts: new sources of electricity generation would also be needed for the development of renewable energy

Commissioned by the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid, experts from the Kaunas University of Technology examined potential scenarios for the development of renewable energy in Lithuania until 2030. It was estimated that over the next 15 years, Lithuania could expand 24 to 35 per cent of the electricity consumed that would be generated from renewable energy resources. An appropriate development scenario should be selected taking into account the country’s international commitments on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the related investments that would be required.
According to the authors of the study, wind farms and biofuel power stations have the most opportunities in the development of renewable energy. It is predicted that namely these types of generators will be able to produce approximately 90 per cent of their electricity from renewable resources in the future.
Having devoted the most attention to the potential of wind energy, the researchers analysed what impact the development of wind parks would have on the functioning of the power system, and how and where the transmission network would need to be expanded if it was decided to increase the amount of electricity produced by wind.
According to the permits that have currently been issued for the development of wind farms and legislative provisions, 500 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity will be integrated in Lithuania by 2020. The researchers determined that another 500 MW of wind capacity could be installed in Lithuania by 2030, resulting in a total capacity of 1,000 MW.
“If it is decided to increase production at wind parks, additional funds would be needed for the development of the transmission network, which the wind turbines are connected to. However, the most important thing is that significant amounts be invested into the construction of new power plants in order to ensure the electricity reserves needed to balance wind production,” said Daivis Virbickas summarizing the results of the study.
In the feasibility study for the connection of power plants which use renewable energy resources to the high-voltage electricity transmission network by 2030, connection of offshore wind farms to the network was also discussed. However, it was emphasized that construction of wind farms in the  Baltic Sea would only be possible upon expansion of the electricity transmission network; in addition, a more detailed study would first have to be done to explore opportunities and assess financial feasibility.
The experts assess that in Western Lithuania, the possibilities for connecting new wind farms to the 110 kV transmission network have been exhausted. It will be possible to connect new wind farms to the 330 kV network, but the overall capacity of wind farms that are connected to this grid cannot exceed 240 MW.
The feasibility study for the development of renewable energy was presented to the energy community, representatives of business and science, and the Ministry of Energy.
The map of renewable energy resources connectivity shows the wind farms in different zones; their capacity is not combined. The technical conditions for wind farms connections to the transmission grid in a specific zone are issued in regard to the previously issued technical conditions in adjacent areas and after assessing the remaining potential of transmission grid.
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