Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Efficiency of Energy Consumption as a Base for Sustainable Energy Sector

Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Efficiency of Energy Consumption as a Base for Sustainable Energy Sector

Article excerpt

Introduction

The production of high value-added products and services, their competitiveness in the global market is basis of Lithuania's economy. The innovative business-friendly environment, education, science, research and experimental development system, an innovative energy component that interacts with the business to help foster a creative society, to develop high-level knowledge base on innovation, to develop a creative society and to create conditions for development of entrepreneurship and innovation allow producing these products and services. Lithuania, as many other EU countries, encounters key challenges in three energy sector fields: energy independence, energy sector competitiveness and sustainable energy sector development. Such situation is determined by historical and political conditions, as well as by limited internal energy resources.

In the energy sector emissions into the environment account for more than half of total emissions into the air of greenhouse gas. Lithuania is one of the few European countries, which almost does not have its fossil energy resources such as oil, coal, natural gas, and since 2009 has closed the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP). These reasons determine the fact that Lithuania is heavily dependent on imports of fossil fuels from third countries. In such context an importance of energy consumption efficiency pursuing country energy sector sustainability is highlighted (Fellows 2006; Ignotas 2006a, 2006b).

Energy production resources decrease both in the world and Lithuania, therefore, it is increasingly focused on renewable energy sources and their more effective utilization (Bobinaite et al. 2011; O'Connor, Cleveland 2014; Serbi 2015). It is very important a more efficient use of renewable resources in the country, since they are less damaging to the environment than fossil fuels. It should be noted that local crude oil usage in Lithuania is small, so a wider RES utilization would be not only environmentally beneficial, but would also help reduce Lithuania's dependence on imported fossil fuels. By implementing the long-term goals and tasks a country may seek to increase the efficiency of energy production, distribution and consumption, as well as to increase energy production from renewable and waste energy sources. Current objective of Lithuanian National Sustainable Development Strategy is to increase energy saving and consumption efficiency (LR Aplinkos ministerija 2014).

The main objective of the paper is to analyze the efficiency of energy consumption, the factors influencing energy sector competitiveness and sustainability, and to assess the development soundness of the use of renewable energy sources in Lithuania.

Lithuanian energy, energy production and energy efficiency is the object of research.

These methods were applied in the work: critical scientific and legal literature analysis, statistical comparative analysis and graphical presentation.

1. The EU's economic competitiveness in the context of sustainable energy development

The EU economy is becoming more competitive and more innovative. It is conditioned by labour productivity, spending on research and development, resource efficiency and other factors (Rozmahel et al. 2014). The energy-related indicators (such as the greenhouse gas emissions, energy demand, consumption and importation, renewable energy sources development) showing progress of sustainable development also improves the competitiveness (Costantini, Mazzanti 2012; Gilli et al. 2013; Baek et al. 2014).

The energy intensity of the EU decreased from 2003 to 2009, depression followed in 2010, and even further decline increased in 2011. Positive change was observed along with full native energy use separation from economic growth (Sustainable development ... 2013).

12 indicators were identified as key from more than 100 indicators presented in Sustainable Development in the European Union report. …

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