Lithuania Seeks Renewable Energy Cap, Producers Say They’ll Sue

Lithuania’s government, seeking to block a surge in subsidized renewable energy, approved draft legislation to limit permits for installing new capacity. Producers opposed the change, saying they would sue for damages.

“The amendments are intended to protect the interests of all electricity consumers by preventing a surge in electricity prices,” the government in the capital, Vilnius, said today in an e-mailed statement. The size and pace of expansion, especially of small solar installations, was unsustainable, it said.

The Baltic nation’s Energy Ministry issued about 5,300 permits to install or expand wind, solar, hydroelectric and biomass power plants in 2011 and 2012. It has received another 10,000 requests for permits, mostly to build solar plants with capacity of 30 kilowatts or less, according to the statement.

The legislation would halt the issuance of permits when national capacity targets are reached - 500 megawatts for wind turbines, 10 megawatts for solar plants, 141 megawatts for hydroelectric generation and 355 megawatts for biomass power plants. It would also put on hold already issued permits for small solar plants that aren’t operating yet.

Producers stand to lose about 500 million litai ($193 million) of already committed resources if parliament adopts the changes, 11 groups representing Lithuania’s renewable energy companies said in a joint statement today on the BNS news service. They pledged to sue the state for compensation.

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