Over the last six months the electricity distribution company Lesto has issued preliminary contracts for connecting 11,480 solar plants to the grid, which are neccessary in order to apply to the Energy Ministry for a permit.
"We have been saying since the start of the year that there will be a solar bubble. That was obvious. They had not announced the promised auctions for larger plants for a year and a half and set one of the highest power purchase tariffs in Europe. Not suprisingly, all businesses that wanted to invest in renewanble energy rushed headlong into small solar plants," the paper quoted Ruslan Sklepovič, president of the Association of Renewable Energy Producers.
Energy from small-sized solar plants will be pruchased at 1.44 litas (EUR 0.42) or 1.8 litas per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The national energy market regualator estimates that if all investors who had obtained permits by September launched production, 86 million litas in public service obligation funds would be needed to buy their electricity at the above-market price. That could raise the price electricity for consumers by 0.01 litas per kWh.
Prices too high
A boom in the construction of small-sized solar plants in Lithuania has been triggered by inflated electricity purchase rates, Energy Deputy Minister has said.
“With today’s technologies, solar plants are being developed intensively and the efficiency of these technologies improves several times a year. The price, at its current established level, guarantees a chance to recover the investments quickly, which has triggered that boom,” Kęstutis Žilėnas told the reporters on Wednesday.
Asked how the Energy Ministry could possibly stop the boom in the construction of small-sized solar plants, Žilėnas said that “the simplest way would be to modify the price and to establish a realistic rate.”