In 2023, Lithuania's electricity consumption drew heavily from net imports, accounting for over half of its energy needs at 53.7%. Looking at low-carbon energy sources, they made up more than a third of domestic generation at 40.56%. A further breakdown of these low-carbon sources reveals that wind energy contributed the highest portion, close to a fifth, at 18.01%. Closely behind wind was the use of hydropower at 12.37%, then biofuels and solar, which accounted for 5.28% and 4.9% respectively. Yet, the contribution from fossil fuels to Lithuania's energy consumption was nearly negligible in 2023, standing at 4.77%, with gas also at the same percentage.
To improve its low-carbon electricity generation, Lithuania could look to expanding its wind energy sector, given its current substantial contribution. It can draw lessons from countries like Denmark, which efficiently harnesses close to 60% of its electricity needs from wind energy. Likewise, nuclear power may be another path worth exploring, as several countries have successfully tapped into it as a clean energy source. For instance, France generates a remarkable 66% of its electricity from nuclear energy, followed closely by Slovakia and Ukraine, both over the 50% mark. Being small and central European, like Lithuania, they might offer particularly relevant examples.
Charting the history of low-carbon electricity in Lithuania, it's apparent that there were fluctuations in nuclear power generation from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. The initial upward trend in nuclear electricity production in the late 1980s was followed by significant declines in the early 1990s, with a drop of -2.4 TWh in both 1992 and 1993. This downward trend heightened in 1994 with a reduction of -4.6 TWh. However, the late 1990s and early 2000s marked a recovery, with increases recorded annually, barring slight declines in 1997, 1999, and 2000. Despite these ups and downs, the contribution of nuclear energy remained fundamental to Lithuania's electricity production during this period. Commendably, in 2023, both wind and hydro energy sources also recorded increases, contributing 0.8 TWh and 1.2 TWh respectively to Lithuania's electricity generation.