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Lithuania storage pilot project aims to ease Russian energy dependence

Tuesday, 06 April 2021

Siemens and Lithuanian transmission system operator, Litgrid, announced plans to develop a 1 MW pilot battery storage plant in the Baltic nation which is expected to be the first of many such installations.

Establishing storage capacity will allow Lithuania to rely more upon renewable energy and further integration with the EU countries while moving away from Soviet energy ties, in particular Russian natural gas imports.

“As the Lithuanian TSO, we are in a unique position. As others, we also face the challenges of the shift to renewable energy, but at the same time we are doing a synchronisation project, which is the switch from our current operation in the post-Soviet grid to an independent cooperation with our partners in Europe,” said Litgrid chief executive Rokas Masilius.

“This, combined with a system that currently heavily relies on electricity imports, means that we have to be bolder and seek innovative solutions: that’s why we are looking at battery energy storage at the transmission level.”

The Lithuania government plans to boost renewable share in electricity from currently 20% to 45% in 2030, to effectively all renewable electricity in 2050. Grid-linked storages will facilitate the take up of renewable energy by compensating for uneven output of renewable generators, as well as improving grid stability.

Lithuania and the GO market

Lithuania is a net electricity importer, with imports in 2019 (9.4 TWh) more than triple domestic generation (3 TWh). The Baltic nation also has an operating GO registry, administered by Litgrid. Lithuania, as well as neighbour Latvia connected to the AIB hub in February 2021, allowing the transfer of GOs into and out of the nations.

However, the domain protocol of Lithuania does not allow supported generation to be transferred, and to date no issuances from Lithuania have been recorded with the AIB. The AIB notes they are a net GO importer, with approximately 1.2 TWh imported and cancelled in 2020.

As Lithuania further develops energy self sufficiency, we would expect GO imports to drop over time. However, in the interim if the nation opts to import electricity via Europe in lieu of Russian supplies to make up for their current energy deficit we would expect GO imports to increase.


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