Ž. Šilėnas. Heating restructuring: How are they going to do it?

The Government of Lithuania has approved a national heating sector programme that seems to be focused on a single idea – the construction of electricity power plants by the Lithuanian Energy company in big cities. The plan is to sell heating to the cities and electricity, country-wise.

One good provision is that citizens will be allowed to invest in such power plants, with the state retaining a 51% share. This is a good example of how many other energy projects could have been implemented without inflicting the costs on the consumers.

Yet, there are several overriding questions that need to be answered. What is the logic behind the construction of new electricity power plants: producing cheap heating and selling electricity as a by-product? Who will be the competitors of the newly built electricity plants? And how will the project be implemented?

The problem with Lithuanian energy projects has been not about what to build but how. Instead of demonstrating strategic thinking and creating fair rules and oversight, politicians have become builders, engineers and public relations officers for specific energy projects, ignoring consumer interests and pushing controversial rules.