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Lithuanian parliament gauging new offshore wind scheme

A draft offshore wind bill in Lithuania that recently began its journey through the system to get approved is now before the Lithuanian parliament (the Seimas), which is considering its amendments to the current laws that would set up conditions for the development of offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea.

Early this summer, the Lithuanian government approved the concept of wind power development in the country’s maritime territory prepared by the Ministry of Energy, which proposed changes to the legal regulation. The government then instructed the Ministry of Energy to prepare draft laws regulating the support scheme for offshore wind farms by 1 July.

As reported at the beginning of September, the new regulations would facilitate financing and developing offshore wind projects under a Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme. If the Seimas gives its final approval to the draft amendments, the regulatory environment will also have to be agreed and coordinated with the European Commission on the matter of compliance with state subsidy requirements.

The law would also accommodate building a 700 MW offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, for which plans have already been approved by the government.

The first offshore wind auction under the bill, if passed into law, is expected to take place as early as 2023.

For a bill to be enacted into law in Lithuania, it must first be approved by the government and then adopted by the Seimas, a unicameral parliament.

“Lithuania’s strategic goals are to increase local electricity production and reduce dependence on imports, to promote renewable energy and to do so in the most efficient way. It is offshore wind that makes it possible to achieve these goals through open and transparent competition. This energy source has great prospects, and Lithuania has favorable opportunities to develop it”, said Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

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