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12° Nicosia,
01 April, 2023
 
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Cyprus aims for higher targets in green energy

Renewables will account for 18.22% of total energy consumption in 2022, with sponsorship plans for storage projects in the works.

Maria Eracleous

In 2022, renewable energy sources now make up a more significant percentage of total energy consumption. It has increased by 5.6% compared to 2018 levels and by 1.2% compared to 2020 levels to reach 18.22%. At the same time, the footprint of renewable energy in electricity generation has increased from 11.31% in 2019 to 15.18% today. Additionally, the installed capacity of RES has tripled since 2013 to reach 600 MW, according to the energy minister. Additionally, compared to 2013, the increase in photovoltaic power is at 1700%.  Additionally, with a 70 million dollar budget, grant applications to the RES and EE Fund 2022-2023 grant schemes have tripled. During the presentation of the Ministry's activities for the years 2020–2023, Energy Minister Natasha Pilidou reported these. According to the reported percentages, Cyprus will contribute 23% more renewable energy sources than it did in 2018, which is the target for the year 2023. a goal that is not considered ambitious. This will alter though. The targets for 2030 will be revised upward, as Natasha Pilidou stated. This topic is the subject of a study, and the original 23% target will be increased as a result.  In order to increase the use of green energy, grants totaling €155 million will be given out through projects through the end of 2023.

And energy storage...

With a budget of €13.3 million, the project to advance the circular economy in SMEs is anticipated to begin in the first half of 2023.

To achieve our objectives for the green transition, "every roof and photovoltaic" will not be sufficient. N. Pileidou emphasized that even if every household installed photovoltaic panels, there is a cap on the amount consumed. This is primarily caused by the lack of resources and infrastructure for storing solar energy, in this case. Due to the fact that without storage, a significant portion will remain unused, and storage needs to be promoted through financing, we are now at a point where the installation of PV reaches its maximum amount of usable energy.  So that PV farms can combine storage, 80 million euro sponsorship plans for large storage projects are anticipated to be promoted in the upcoming period. These plans will be combined with a competitive bidding process. As with the grid upgrades, efforts are being made to work with the EU to secure project approval for state aid.

13.3 million for recycling

The €13.3 million project to support the circular economy in small and medium-sized businesses, which is a component of the €98 million national action plan for the circular economy, is anticipated to be announced in the first half of 2023. The project aims to offer incentives for businesses in the manufacturing industry to invest in waste material recycling or reuse. The program is for small and medium-sized businesses. As was the case for residential consumers, it should be noted that businesses are also anticipated to adopt the Virtual Net Billing Scheme, which will have a significant positive impact on their financial health on the one hand, and significantly increase the share of renewable energy in their energy consumption on the other.

Bill for excess profits

The attempts to control the problem of RES producers' excessive profits are also included in the significant reports. A draft bill pertaining to the imposition of a tax on the excess profits of RES producers (those that have already been generated) has recently been created by the Ministry of Finance and is anticipated to be presented to the Parliament when it resumes its work. Of course, the goal is to stop the production of excessive profits. A letter from the responsible Ministry appears to be moving in this direction, allowing for the establishment of safeguards to stop the generation of excessive profits. Because energy costs will be lower as a result of this solution, consumers will also directly benefit.  "Renewable energy producers should not be compensated based on the price of conventional fuel. When this is done in a transitional and competitive market, the price of electricity will fall." The final decision is made by the Energy Regulatory Authority.

Over 1600 foreign company registrations

It was mentioned during the presentation by the Ministry of Energy, Industry, and Commerce that there was considerable interest in the operations of businesses in Cyprus, particularly in the IT sector and not just in the RES sector. In fact, more than 1600 new businesses were registered in the Register of Foreign Interest Companies in just 24 months. These businesses are primarily from the United States, Israel, Ukraine, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom. US, China, Australia, the UK, Russia, and Belarus. Qualified personnel have received 10,000 residence and employment permits. According to the Minister, "there is an unexpected momentum, particularly in the IT sector, but also in other sectors."  These include the financial services, business, hospitality, industrial, commercial, hydrogen and energy storage, education and university, maritime, and health services sectors. In the meantime, in 2023, the Business Facilitation Unit's digitization is progressing toward completion, and a one-stop hub for commercial renewable energy projects has also been established. According to Ms. Pileidou, there is significant interest in the development of photovoltaic parks, the most traditional development in the field of renewable energy, as well as in the storage and production of green hydrogen, with Cyprus serving as a market that can serve as a pilot and attracting interest from businesses in France and other European nations.  These are projects that the Business Facilitation Unit has been assigned to help with the application process.

 

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