• DSC_1270
  • DSC_1310
  • http://wowslider.com/
  • DSC_1336
1 2 3 4 5 6 DSC_12707 DSC_13108 DSC_13249 DSC_133610
wow slider by WOWSlider.com v8.6

Study tour to Lithuania on the Topic of Use of Biomass for Heat Generation in District Heating Systems Organized for Experts from Serbia

Study tour to Lithuania on the Topic of Use of Biomass for Heat Generation in District Heating Systems Organized for Experts from Serbia

In the period from 17 to 23 September 2018, a study tour to Lithuania on the topic of use of biomass for heat generation in district heating systems (DHS) was organized for representatives of the cross-sectoral Biomass Support Unit which was established within the Ministry of Mining and Energy. Representatives of the Ministry of Mining and Energy – Section for Renewable Energy Sources, Forestry Administration and Administration for Rural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management, as well as representatives of the Association for Energy and Energy Mining of Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry took part in the study tour.

The study tour was organized within the Project “Reducing Barriers to Accelerate the Development of Biomass Markets in Serbia” with support of “Enerstena Group” from Lithuania.

The aim of the visit was for the experts from Serbia to be familiarized with exceptional successes Lithuania had achieved in fuel switch (from natural gas to woody biomass) in district heating systems over a short time.

As a member of the European Union, based on the Renewable Energy Directive (RES) 2009/28/EC, Lithuania was given the target to increase the share of RES in gross final energy consumption (GFEC) to 23% by 2020. In 2015, the goal had already been attained and surpassed, as Lithuania achieved the 25.86% share of RES in GFEC. This success was reached due to the opening of the heat market as well as  biomass market, which also facilitated mass transfer of district heating systems from natural gas to biomass. In Lithuania, the DHS comprises 49 public and 40 independent suppliers who provide energy for heating of 55% of Lithuanian population. The heat distribution system is in public ownership, while heat is supplied both by public and independent suppliers based on contacts concluded on the grounds of monthly heat sale auctions, organized by each town which has a heat distribution network. Winter eak load is covered by public suppliers using natural gas as contingency fuel.

In the programme for switching the DHS to biomass, which was adopted in 2012, Lithuanian Government set the target that the share of biomass in DHS in 2020 amounts to 60%. Already in 2017, the share of biomass in DHS was 69%, i.e. 655,000 toe a year. According to projections, in 2020 the share of biomass in DHS will reach 80%. Besides DHS, mass fuel switch to biomass was also performed in the sector of industry, where current consumption amounts to 120,000 toe. All this was accompanied with comprehensive modernization and implementation of energy efficiency measures both on the side of the heat generation and supply, as well as on heat demand side. The projects were financed from EU structural funds and private capital. Having in mind that the price of biomass is considerably lower than the price of natural gas, Lithuania achieves annual savings of about 205 million EUR in DHS, and about 38 million EUR in the industrial sector.

By switching to biomass in the DHS, the prices of heating and hot water for consumers were decreased by 35% to 50%. The transfer to mass utilization of biomass called for a significant extension of the forest management system, which was already good, and development of a dynamic and transparent market for biomass and heat energy. The current annual turnover in the biomass energy sector in Lithuania amounts to 300 million EUR. The sector employs about 7,500 workers, out of which 6,000 in local communities. By 2020, the total number of employees in biomass sector is expected to reach the figure of 10,000. To ensure regular and transparent functioning of the systems of heat auctions, it was necessary to develop a transparent biomass stock exchange – “Baltpool”, though which producers of heat for the DHS and industry purchase biomass.

“Baltpool” already facilitates sale of 95% of biomass for energy generation purposes, while in 2017 the turnover of the stock exchange amounted to 196 million EUR. “Baltpool” is a market operator established in 2012, and is owned by public companies of the Electric power network “EPSO – G” (67%) and “Klaipedos Nafta” (33%). The exchange currently features 346 active participants from four countries. As the biomass stock exchange, “Baltpool” is also active in Latvia, Denmark, and Finland. The stock exchange is used to trade in standardized biomass products. Contracts on supplying may last for different terms. It is also possible to contract logistic services with “Baltpool”. In Lithuania there is also the strong bioenergy organization “Litbioma” which was founded back in 2003 and currently has 40 members: biomass producers-suppliers, equipment manufacturers, designers, research and development institutions, and owners of energy plantations.

The study tour of Lithuania included a visit to the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy in Vilnius where the delegation from Serbia was received by Vidmantas Macevičius, Deputy Minister of energy; Remigijus Lapinskas, President of the World Bioenergy Association; Vaidotas Jonutis, biomass sale manager with the biomass exchange “Baltpool”, and Vilma Gaubyte, manager of Lithuanian Association “Litbioma” who delivered individual presentations to show different segments of biomass utilization policy and programmes in Lithuania. The study tour was continued in Kaunas, where the participants had the opportunity to visit the “Enerstena Group”, where they were received by Virginijus Ramanauskas, owner of the Group and President of Lithuanian Association “Litbioma”, whose presentation was on development of technology for combustion of biomass. The participants also visited a specialized laboratory within the “Enerstena Group” where they became more closely familiar with procedures and methods of testing of quality of biomass intended for combustion in boilers. Visits to plants using biomass we also organized for the experts from Serbia; one of the plants supplies heat to the largest hothouse complex in Lithuania, while the other is a CHP – combined heat and power plant on biomass within the district heating system in Kaunas.

After the tour of the plants, the participants visited the Lithuanian Institute of Forestry where they were received by Marius Aleinikovas, Institute director, and Albinas Tebere, Head of the department for forestry policy within Lithuanian Ministry of environmental protection, who delivered presentations followed by interactive discussion to transfer the most important information and explain the practice of sustainable resource management in the forestry sector in Lithuania. Following the visit to the Forestry institute, the experts from Serbia visited test trial plants of short rotation wood species. After this, Andrius Šliavas, manager of the company “Fortex Energy” which is in the area of production and supply of woodchips organized a demonstration of the process of production of woodchips starting from collection of forest residues, through log and branch handling and their shredding using a special shredder, to their loading onto trucks, all at the forest road.

This was a unique opportunity for experts from Serbia to see a highly mechanized woodchip production cycle. The participants of the study tour also visited the 50 MW CHP plant of the company “Fortum Heat Klaipeda” which uses municipal waste as a fuel and supplies the town of Klaipeda with heat. The participants also visited the boiler room using pellets of company “Philip Morris”. Within the study tour, the participants had the opportunity to see a large industrial landfill of lignin in Kedainiai, exploited by company “Lignineko”. This company has developed a special technology of mixing lignin from the lignin landfill and waste biomass from furniture and construction industries, to obtain high-heat content biomass which is sold at the exchange to heat producers. This generates double benefit for the environment, as deposited historic waste, which was generated decades ago in the course of operation of a local starch factory, is thus eliminated, while RES are also used.

The study tour to Lithuania enabled the experts from Serbia to learn more about the impressive results in the area of use of biomass in this country. These results are particularly relevant for Serbia, as this is a small country, with quite similar concept of DHS development from the historic standpoint, as well as similar biomass resources.


  1. Use and Regulation of Biomass in Lithuania’s DH sector, Vidmantas Macevicius, Vice-Minister of Energy, Ministry of Energy of Lithuania
  2. Biomass Exchange, Andrius Smaliukas, Baltpool
  3. Biomass in Lithuanian DH sector – Virginijus Ramanauskas, Litbioma
  4. Biomass in the Context of Global Climate Change, Remigijus Lapinskas, President of the WBA