RWE has joined forces with Lithuanian educational institutions to accelerate the development of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea, based on education, research and knowledge transfer. Corresponding letters of intent were signed with Klaipeda University, Lithuanian Maritime Academy, Klaipeda State University of Applied Sciences and the Klaipeda Paulius Lindenau Training Center.
“Offshore wind is key to meeting the increasing demand for renewable power and creates new, future-proof jobs,” says Andreas Hammar, vice president of offshore wind development services for the Nordics, Baltics and Poland at RWE Renewables. “The strong interconnection between the Baltic countries and their neighbouring Nordic and Western regions opens up opportunities for energy export. So the Baltic Sea could become a future power hub in Europe. At RWE, we want to help make that happen.”
Lithuania has announced its first central offshore wind tender for a wind farm of up to 700 MW by the end of 2023. For the Baltic Sea as a whole, a target of 20 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 has been set.
“To deliver the ambitious offshore build-out targets in the Baltic Sea, a variety of qualified personnel will be needed – during development, construction and operation,” adds Anu Eslas, vice president of offshore development for the Baltic states at RWE Renewables. “Together with the four leading educational institutes we are laying the foundation today for the future success of offshore wind in Lithuania and the wider Baltic region.”
It is planned to share knowledge and expertise and to identify opportunities for joint research in the field of offshore wind energy. Educational programs are to be set-up to teach the knowledge and competencies required to work in the offshore wind sector.
Renewable energy and sustainability are among the key strategic focusses of Klaipeda University (KU). KU researchers are actively engaged in these areas; international cooperation and joint programs are being developed with its partners from the EU-CONEXUS European University.
“Agreements with industry partners working in the field of renewable energy – their experience, needs, and perspectives – are important and useful for us, as they open up opportunities for new research, joint projects and innovative solutions,” comments KU Rector Professor Dr Artūras Razbadauskas.
“The Lithuanian Maritime Academy is delighted with this new partnership with RWE. We believe that cooperation between higher education institutions and industry is of major importance in terms of responding to the needs of society and the labor market, reacting rapidly and training highly qualified specialists capable of adapting to changes,” says Vaclav Stankevič, Lithuanian Maritime Academy’s director. “We believe that the development and diversity of our studies is very important, and that is reflected in this cooperation and in the new opportunities for our students or graduates to gain employment in the offshore wind industry.”
“Lithuania is determined to forge ahead with the Green Course and strengthen energy independence. The first offshore wind farm is being developed and it will not only ensure a more sustainable environment for future generations, but also the growth of the coastal region and the creation of new workplaces,” states Gražina Markvaldienė, director of Klaipeda State University of Applied Sciences. “We have many years of experience in training electrical engineering specialists. We see the collaboration with RWE as a way to modernize and enhance the study program and contribute to the training of specialists needed for offshore wind.”
Klaipeda Paulius Lindenau Training Center is a specialized vocational school in Lithuania that provides vocational training for sea, port, shipping, the engineering industry, as well as energy and technologies related to shipbuilding and transportation.
“We are creating synergies for energy,” mentions Dr Egidijus Skarbalius, director of the Klaipeda Paulius Lindenau Training Center. “The main prerequisites for successful business development are technologies and qualified professionals. RWE is proficient in the new technologies and competencies required in this area. Our mission is to prepare highly qualified professionals. Our activities are directed towards the engineering industry, energy and shipping as we have expertise, experience and infrastructure in these areas. We hope the synergy from our partnership with RWE will help to develop the renewable energy sector at sea.”