The evaluation of the use of renewable energy resources
Keywords: renewable energy resources, agriculture, climate change, energy dependence
AbstractThere have been many discussions in Lithuania about a strategy for reducing the impact of climate change. Members of the international community agree that reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere is necessary to avoid dangerous climate change. The main greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is mainly produced by combustion of fossil fuels, which are currently used: natural gas, coal, oil, peat, etc. Fossil fuels are still the main source of energy. The amount of energy produced and consumption from renewable energy sources (RES) is increasing both in Lithuania and in Europe. According to the Directive (2009/28/EU) Lithuania has a legally binding target in the year 2020. The share of renewable energy would account for at least 23% of the total final energy consumption of the country. The share of renewable energy would account for at least 10% of the final energy consumption in the transport sector. Lithuania achieved its target and this indicator was 23.9% in 2014. According to the Eurostat data, the share of RES produced from renewable energy sources in the total energy balance is increasing annually. In 2007 this indicator was only 4.7% and it has grown 4 times in 2016. The production of electricity from renewable energy sources satisfied the country’s energy demand by 18.9% in Lithuania. This is the best index so far. Wind energy is the most popular type of green energy, which has been growing at a rate of 5 times in this period. Promotion of the use of renewable resources is provided in the Republic of Lithuania Law on Renewable Energy and the long-term development of the use of renewable resources is provided for in the National Energy Strategy. At this moment Lithuania is a fuel importing country, but in the future Lithuania should produce about 70% of electricity itself. It is forecasted that in 2020 electricity generation in the country should make up 35% of the demand, in 2030 it should be 70%, and in 2050 it should reach 100%. From renewables we should receive a large, almost 80% share of energy. And gas will be a transitional fuel by 2050. The project of strategy states that energy from renewable sources will become a major component of all sectors: electricity, heat, cooling and transport. The objective is to achieve a 30% share of renewables in the final energy consumption balance in 2020, 45% in 2030, and 80% in 2050. The renewables should produce all heat energy and the share of green energy in transport should reach 50% at the end of 2050. The article focuses on the use of the potential of renewable energy sources from agricultural raw materials and their waste. The surplus of agricultural production makes it necessary to look for opportunities to reduce environmental pollution. The aim of the article is to assess the use of potential of renewable energy sources in Lithuania. The results of the analysis showed that increasing energy production is possible not only using wind, solar, water or geothermal energy, but by processing traditional agricultural and animal products and their waste: straw, grain crops, livestock or bird’s excrement, etc. It is recommended to look at the unconventional potential of raw materials, such as sewage sludge, spirits, molasses, etc. The use of biomass has potentially revealed alternatives to biofuels that underpin the use of different generations of biofuels. The use of biofuels in the long term should contribute to the slowdown in climate change.