Lithuania, switching from gas to biomass

Switching from gas to biomass in lithuania

Lithuania and its 3 million inhabitants were heavily dependent on fossil fuel imports from Russia. In 2014, When Lithuania became an EU member state, it paid the highest price for imported gas, a price considered "political" as it was not comparable to the market situation. In the meantime, indigenous biomass resources were (and still are) abundant. De 2000 a 2016, the use of biomass in the district heating sector increased from 2 % to 65 %, thus surpassing the biomass used in district heating to imported gas. The main reason for this change is the huge renewable energy resources in Lithuaniawhere the forests cover 33,2 % from the country ( 2,2 M ha). In addition, the price of using biomass for heating is up to 3 times less than the price of natural gas. The amount of biomass per capita in Lithuania is one of the highest in the European Union.

As a result, the transition from imported gas to local biomass fuel has resulted in a cost reduction for consumersas well as in a reduction of the emissions of CO2 . Also more than 7.500 people work for companies related to biomass technology, production and supply. The average salary in this sector is about 1,5 times higher than the average salary in Lithuania. The annual turnover of this sector is approximately 410 millions of euros.

Thanks to the rapid pace of bioenergy development, Lithuania has already reached the EU directive on incentives for the consumption of renewable energy resources. For Lithuania, the objective is to increase this participation by 23 % by 2020.

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