Bioenergy in Lithuania: Status quo and the future
Dovile Zdanaviciene is Head of the Policy Group of the Climate Change Management in the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania. She studied Environmental Engineering and Energy Engineering / Thermal Engineering at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. Her expertise includes renewable energy and climate change mitigation, development of policy measures.
What role does bioenergy play in Lithuania and the Baltic Sea Region’s energy system? What were the main trends?
Starting last year, the national parliament adopted a new energy strategy, boosting the production and promoting the use of energy from renewable resources. In addition, the efficient use of energy as part of the national strategy has become stronger overall.
By 2030, we will already be seeing the greening of the electricity, heating and transport sectors. However, the main task is to shift to a waste based feedstock use for the production of bioenergy when considering transport because PV and wind resources are already there for the electricity production.
What changes do you foresee in Lithuania when considering the bioenergy sector? Which bioenergy products will be the most viable? Why?
We see problems regarding reaching renewable targets in the transport sector in the future. At this time we are very low in target goals for renewable fuels for transport. As an example, biomethane in transport needs an improved infrastructure, (refilling stations), vehicles (engines) and political regulations, incentives. Due to these issues, we as Ministry together with other ministries are preparing a new draft law for the parliament, in order to establish the framework boosting these new technologies.
There are currently many environmental, economic and social concerns regarding the biomass use for energy production. Do you foresee the implementation of restrictions (prohibitions, taxes, etc.) that would directly influence the renewable energy market uptake?
Indeed, the environmental, economic and social pillars have already been tackled by EU policies and their national implementations. These regulations set the sustainability criteria for the used biomass. In fact, the EU has defined sustainability criteria for biofuels and liquid biofuels in the 2009 Renewable Energies Directive (2009/28/EC) with respect to the protection of climate and biodiversity. Sustainability criteria could be summarised as “no production areas” (e.g. biomass cannot be produced on primary forest, peatlands, wetlands or high biodiversity lands, etc.). Additionally, the RED (2009/28/EC) includes the national overall targets for the share of energy from renewable sources and the rules for calculating GHG impacts producing biomass. Furthermore, sustainability criteria are still being improved through voluntary schemes.
Full report on the analysis of market outlook and future viability of different bioenergy products and value chains in the Baltic Sea Region energy system can be found here.