Lithuanian Parliament has adopted a new national strategy on energy security, with an increase in demand for renewable energy across the country taking up an importance place throughout.
Renewable energy consumption throughout Lithuania is on rise, with targets set for 30 per cent national usage in 2020, 45 per cent by 2030 and to be 100 per cent renewable reliant by 2050. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) share is essential in these plans. They will mostly be reached by the development of producing consumers movement. The share of prosumers in the amount of total electricity consumers will be increased: up to two per cent in 2020, up to 30 per cent by 2030 and up to 50 per cent by 2050.
Historically, homes in Lithuania were formed mainly as the multifamily houses. Therefore, in order to reach such ambitious goals, residents have to be involved in the production of the electricity for personal needs by becoming prosumers. Additionally, creating energy communities would make this process much easier. Relevant conditions require non-standard decisions for the members of communities across Lithuania to become prosumers.
The development of prosuming requires the implementation of the net-metering system, which has already been in action in Lithuania for a few years. However, very important changes to the expansion of the net-metering were made through the improvement of Lithuanian legislation which became actual from October 2019. The main attractions and new possibilities include:
- net-metering system can be applied for PV installations up to 500 kW (in most EU countries it does not exceed 10 kW)
- the 500kW limit can be used by every legal or personal entity: by private households, by commercial units, by communities, etc.
- it is possible to construct PV power stations in one part of the country and consume its electricity in another; it means that, e.g. you can construct PV station in the rural area on the cheap land plot or summer house, and consume it in your accommodation in the city centre; only the electricity transmission fee has to be paid, which goes to the grid operator;
- it is possible for the individuals to buy or lease part of big PV station. The electricity produced here can be used in the remote house, e.g. person can buy 5kW from the station with 1000kW power, developed by the investor. Solar electricity produced here can be used in person’s household in other part of the country. For such acquisition, the net-metering system also applies.
The largest Lithuanian public energy producer (IGNITIS p.c.) created an internet platform for the implementation of such a model. The developer can announce here their intent to construct the power station and to distribute it to the small consumers. The platform allows households to obtain property or lease part of such power station and to pay for that purchase. We expect that such possibilities, which started on 1 October 2019, will raise PV activities of households and commercial SMEs dramatically.
The results of the first three months saw 6000 applications received, and the activities have not slowed down. It is very important that the Lithuanian residents of multi-family houses can very easily become producing consumers. Such flexibility would allow the creation of energy communities which could obtain energy even in a more economically efficient way.
The flexibility of net-metering opens up new possibilities for the wider usage of solar electricity, e.g. conversion of solar electricity for the heat and hot water production. Such production becomes very economically attractive when using aero thermal and geothermal heat pumps. In that case the prosumer can produce electricity in summer to store it in the electrical grids, and very effectively use it for the heating in winter. In that case, the price of heat is three times lower than the typical price of heat produced by the gas or other fossil fuels. It is very attractive that in such case the multifamily building can become zero – emission one.