Panevėžys is located in the north of Lithuania and is the fifth largest city in the country with a population of approximately 113,000 inhabitants. Panevėžys is a pioneer city in Lithuania in the field of sustainable development and climate protection. Building upon more than fifteen years of work in this area, the municipality joined the Covenant of Mayors in 2008 to network with other European cities active on these issues.
In 1991, the city launched an initiative entitled ‘Sustainable City of Panevėžys – Municipal Responses to Climate Change Emergencies and The Action Plan’ with the aim of addressing challenges related to the reduction of the city’s energy consumption and the generation of renewable energies. Thereafter, the city was the first in Lithuania to engage in the implementation of a Local Agenda 21 to promote sustainable urban development. Additionally, the municipality carried out a project on ‘Integrated Sustainable Management Principles in Baltic Cities’ within the Interreg programme.
As part of its efforts to reduce the city’s CO2 emissions, Panevėžys modernised a district boiler to make it work with four different kinds of renewable resources including biofuel pellets, peat, straw and milled wood. Furthermore, the city’s Thermo Power Plant Network was reconstructed to limit energy losses and over 40 heating substations have been upgraded. The city is also the leader in Lithuania for energy efficient building refurbishment with more than 60 blocks of flats already renovated. These buildings are now using around three to four times less energy than before their refurbishment. The activities in this field are part of the ‘Panevėžys District Municipality Energy Efficiency Improvement Programme for Multi-Apartment Buildings’ designed in 2014 in the framework of a national initiative.
As a member of the Replication Cluster, Panevėžys intends to contribute actively to knowledge sharing activities on renewable energy integration and sustainable urban development in smart European cities.