Nordic Baltic Bioenergy conference in Vilnius has started with over 250 people who represents 150 companies and institutions from more than 20 countries. The main topic of the conference became the partnership between Eastern and Western European countries. For 3 days Vilnius became a gateway to the East, to Ukraine and to Belarus to make business and learn best practices from Lithuanian, Sweden, Finland and other Western and Scandinavian countries.
During the opening of the conference the Prime minister of the Republic of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius emphasized that energy policy remains a priority, and the main object of the Government to reach a transition to local fuel has been successfully implemented.
In two years Lithuania has reached that more than half of the energy in district heating (61 %) is produced from biomass. Participants from abroad were highly interested in Lithuania`s breakthrough in the energy sector – every year Lithuanian biomass energy companies reach ~ 300 million EUR of turnover. During the past three years exports of those companies grew 3 times, and during the last year reached 100 million EUR of annual turnover. At the moment 7.500 people are working in Lithuania, in biomass energy sector. It is expected to reach 10.000 after a few years. The average salary in this sector is 1.5 times higher than average salary in Lithuania.
As the president of Lithuanian Biomass Energy Association LITBIOMA Virginijus Ramanauskas highlighted, biomass sector during the past years became rather important field in Lithuania. The price of central heating decreased by 25 percent, in some cities even by 40 percent because of biomass usage.
In Lithuania biomass demand will enhance even more because of implementation of the two largest in the last twenty years energy projects – biomass and municipal waste cogeneration power plants that are being built in Vilnius and Kaunas.