AS THE DAY OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION APPROACHES, HOW ARE EU INVESTMENTS CHANGING LITHUANIA’S ENERGY SECTOR?
The Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA [Lithuanian LVPA - Lietuvos Verslo Paramos Agentūra]) estimates that the EU investments in energy projects in the financial period 2014–2020, in terms of allocated funds, were the largest and amounted to EUR 512.3 million. For comparison, EUR 445.7 million was allocated to R&D projects, while investments in business promotion and productivity projects amounted to EUR 395.6 million.
‘EU projects implemented by the country’s businesses, and public and self-government bodies contribute to the EU key long-term goals in the field of nature protection. One is to make the EU economy a competitive, resource-efficient and low-carbon economy. Another is the need to protect EU citizens from negative environmental impacts and health risks,’ says Aurimas Želvys, director of LBSA.
In the period 2014–2020, the LBSA portfolio included a total of 15 EU investment instruments in the field of energy. The largest number of projects – 171 – were completed and implemented under the measure ‘Renewable energy sources for industry LT +’. The aim of the measure is to reduce the intensity of energy consumption in industrial enterprises by increasing the production and consumption of renewable sources. During the projects, the companies install solar power plants, heat pumps, heat exchangers and biofuel boilers. In some cases, multiple technologies are deployed simultaneously.
The largest EU funds in the mentioned period – over EUR 103 million – were allocated under the measure ‘Modernisation and Development of Heat Supply Networks’, which is strategically significant for the Lithuanian energy sector. The aim of this measure is to reduce losses in heat transmission networks and increase the reliability of heat transmission to consumers.
The largest number of EU investment projects in the field of energy are implemented in Kaunas County (115), followed by Vilnius (102), Klaipėda (64) and Panevėžys (57).
The green course, which includes the promotion of sustainable energy, remains one of the EU’s top priorities. The new EU investment programme and system for 2021–2027 is likely to continue to encourage business and other sectors to have the least possible impact on the environment by offering tools to countries, including Lithuania, on how to achieve the new goals.