Citizen participation and electricity sector governance in Lithuania: current state and future perspectives

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The paper presents a study, which describes the current governance model of the electricity sector in Lithuania. Electricity and energy production and distribution is highly regulated worldwide. This is also true in Lithuania, where the electricity sector is highly politically prominent, and policy is highly centralized. There are geopolitical concerns towards Russia, which is an important supplier of electricity, and Lithuania’s grid is highly integrated with that of Russia. In addition, Lithuania is a small country dominated by a small number of large state-owned producers and has no regional administrations. Lithuania rhetorically has adopted increased citizen participation as a strategic policy goal. The study investigates how far the rhetorics are followed up by policy planning, implementation, and development of new governance modes. The authors base the study on interviews with 19 experts and regulation analysis. The study found that regulation process is transparent, but this causes lower public interest and consequently lower citizen participation. Existing stakeholder involvement at the policy level is highly arbitrary and favorable to large electricity producers. As production is set to decentralize, this has the potential to overburden the regulatory system and cause conflict between different producers.

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    • Figure 1. Current model of electricity sector governance in Lithuania
    • Figure 2. Citizen participation levels in the electricity sector governance in Lithuania
    • Figure 3. A model for increased citizen participation in the governance of electricity sector in Lithuania