Keywords: energy sector, energy intensity, energy planning, Ignalina NPP, foreign investments, nuclear safety, cooperation, Lithuania
Cooperation between Lithuania and Western countries on energy sector development issues
Lithuania is one of the country candidates making necessary progress in order to become a member of the European Union and seeking an invitation to join NATO as well to be involved with other western economic and political structures. The country, being in transition from a centrally planned to a free market economy, is experiencing fundamental transformations and facing many problems. Lithuania has inherited an energy sector with a comparatively good technical infrastructure but inappropriate for a small independent state of its size and access to primary energy. The Lithuanian economy constructed since 1990 is energy intensive. In order to meet the requirements of a modern economy, many significant changes occurred during this transformation period, including changes to institutional structure, legal framework, modernisation of technologies, etc. Considerable investments were made in all sectors of the economy. It would be impossible to realise all these positive changes without cooperation with developed countries, technical assistance of the EU-PHARE program and a range of other programs. The paper describes the current situation in the Lithuanian economy and energy sector, changes in energy intensity and in foreign direct investments in Lithuania. The paper aims to analyse the country's progress in transition to a free market economy and the positive contribution from cooperation between Lithuania and industrialised countries in several areas overall modernisation of the national economy and energy sector, implementation of modern western modelling tools for energy planning, energy efficiency and nuclear safety.