The Future of Ignitis Renewables’ Green Offshore Wind Energy

Source: 4/11/2024, Location: Not categorized

Ignitis Renewables, an international green energy company, demonstrates its commitment to the environment and a more sustainable future. By joining the expedition Save the Baltic Sea, the company has added another important measure to its list of environmental initiatives. The company is actively involved in a wide range of educational activities to raise awareness of environmental issues in the region and to encourage business and society to become more involved in addressing them. As an important step towards green energy, this is another way to ensure that the turbines of the first offshore wind farm in Lithuania, which will be built by Ignitis Renewables, will operate for many years in the clean and vibrant Baltic Sea.

“By joining the expedition, we aim not only to showcase the beauty of the Baltic Sea, but also to remind everyone that, no matter where we live or what we do, we are all responsible for the health of the Baltic Sea. The Save the Baltic Sea team believes that by joining forces we can contribute to the preservation of the Baltic Sea ecosystems. We support this initiative too, with green energy projects that promote change in the renewable energy sector in our region. In this way, we can contribute to the decarbonisation of the energy sector, the development of renewable energy sources, the development and application of innovative solutions, sustainable growth and public education,” says Agne Lukoševiciene, environmental expert at Ignitis Renewables, who is responsible for the offshore wind project.

According to her, in order to reduce the negative impacts on the Baltic Sea, it is first necessary to understand the scale of the problem and to target measures according to their impact on the ecosystem. The expert is convinced that the state of the Baltic Sea can be significantly improved through research, impact assessment, a better understanding of the ecosystem, prioritisation of threats, and introduction of appropriate measures.

“We need to change everyone’s habits at all levels: business, national and regional. The Baltic Sea is a place where many interests – tourism, fishing, shipping, resource extraction, defence, energy and more – intersect. And all of these activities need to be carried out in an environmentally friendly manner. The more people understand how our actions affect the marine environment, the easier it will be to bring about change,” says the environmental expert.

The aim is to educate the public and inspire people to make changes

According to A. Lukoševiciene, the most important mission of the expedition Save the Baltic Sea is to spread knowledge, educate the public and inspire people to bring about changes. The expert points out that many people in the Baltic Sea region do not even realise the extent of the environmental problems affecting the sea, their causes and the long-term impact on the ecology and economy.

“By raising awareness, we can empower society to make the necessary changes: to review consumption habits, to recycle more carefully, to reduce the inflow of nutrients into the sea by reviewing crops fertilization practices and manage wastewater more responsibly, or, for example, to promote the development of renewable energy in the region, which will not only contribute to climate change mitigation goals, but also to the improvement of biodiversity state in the Baltic Sea,” says the environmental expert at Ignitis Renewables.

The Baltic Sea, with its unique ecosystem, is a recreational destination and a source of livelihood for all the countries around it. According to A. Lukoševiciene, the Baltic Sea has recently faced a number of challenges – pollution, eutrophication, habitat degradation and others – that have exacerbated both the environmental problems and the problems of society groups that depend on the Baltic Sea economically.

“Meeting these challenges properly requires a concerted effort from everyone. Raising environmental awareness, integrating sustainability into development decisions, transforming the energy sector, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and promoting renewable energy are all necessary to meet both international and national climate change targets,” comments the expert.

The offshore wind farm is a step towards clean energy
The offshore wind farm being developed by Ignitis Renewables is an important step towards clean energy. Lithuania will become the first Baltic state to generate electricity from offshore wind. A. Lukoševiciene notes that the construction of offshore wind turbines entails a great responsibility to educate the public about the project. The company is committed to raising topical issues related to the development of this type of project and thus stimulating public debate.

“Our goal is not just energy production. We aim to strike a balance between clean energy production and environmental protection, to raise awareness of the benefits of offshore wind energy for the country and the Baltic region as a whole,” emphasises the company’s representative.

A. Lukoševiciene says that even if there are no mandatory environmental procedures, in all countries where Ignitis Renewables operates, local experts are involved in the development of the projects, offering their recommendations on how the company can contribute to the environmental status of the area being developed. Preparations for the construction of the first offshore wind farm are also being carried out in a very responsible manner, with an environmental impact assessment covering not only national requirements but also international best practices.

“Actions and initiatives that promote an environmentally responsible business model undoubtedly contribute to maintaining a clean and vibrant environment. By sharing best practices and their results, we encourage others to find a balance between business and nature in their activities,” comments the environmental expert.

The environmental impact of power plants is carefully assessed
A. Lukoseviciene notes that Ignitis Renewables takes a responsible approach to the impact of its activities on nature and assesses its dependence on natural resources. The company is also aware of the fragility of the balance of nature and the potentially significant losses that could be caused by disturbing it. According to the expert, restoring resources can be costly, difficult, and sometimes impossible.

“Our aim is not only to reduce our impact on the environment, but also to contribute to improving the state of nature. For example, in solar farms, we monitor flora and fauna. We leave part of the area for natural vegetation, and we do not enclose the parks with impenetrable fences so that animals can move freely. Under the right conditions, we provide feeding and resting places for birds of prey,” says the expert, listing specific measures to reduce the environmental impact of Ignitis Renewables facilities.

According to her, a lot of attention is paid to birds in the development of wind farms, and there is close cooperation with ornithologists. The impact of the farm is assessed not only before the wind turbines are put into operation, but also after they are operational. Additional mitigation measures are put in place when problem areas are identified.

“This could include shutting down turbines or reducing the number of turbines in operation on key bird migration days. Even after applying these solutions additional monitoring is carried out for one year,” says the environmental expert, adding that the operations of Ignitis Renewables wind farms are also aligned with the life cycle of bats by limiting the lighting of the farms and avoiding white light.

Ignitis Renewables operates within the environmentally responsible business model of Ignitis Group, with key environmental objectives written into the Group’s strategy and plan. Ignitis Group is strengthening its contribution to the decarbonisation of Europe and to energy security in the region. The company plans to achieve a zero GHG emissions balance by 2040–2050 and to increase its green generation capacity to 4–5 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.

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