12° Nicosia,
25 June, 2024
Home  /  News

EAC chairman George Petrou dives into energy storage advancements

Affordable electricity: EAC chairman's perspective on energy storage


George Petrou, the newly appointed chairman of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), faces a daunting task as he takes the helm during a turbulent period in the electricity market. With the impending opening of the competitive electricity market, numerous challenges loom large, demanding attention from all stakeholders.

In a recent interview with "K", Petrou, who comes from a background in the fossil fuel sector, expressed his commitment to promoting renewable energy sources. Despite his professional ties, he assures that his advocacy for renewables aligns with the EAC's objectives and board directives.

One of Petrou's priorities is the utilization of natural gas to address Cyprus' reliance on liquid fuels. He emphasizes that this shift does not conflict with the EAC's broader goal of transitioning to green energy. The integration of natural gas is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 25%-30% and lead to a corresponding decrease in consumer tariffs.

To facilitate this transition, the EAC has invested €43 million in the Natural Gas Infrastructure Company (ETYFA) and made necessary upgrades to the Vasilikos power station. These preparations will enable the testing of electricity production using natural gas once it becomes available to the EAC.

Despite concerns about the EAC's reliance on fossil fuels, Petrou remains steadfast in his commitment to increasing renewable energy generation. He emphasizes the urgency for Cyprus, along with other EU members, to accelerate efforts towards a green transition.

In pursuit of this goal, the EAC is rapidly deploying new photovoltaic parks across Cyprus. The recent inauguration of a 12MW photovoltaic park in Akrotiri Limassol marks a significant milestone in this endeavor. This initiative aims to reduce energy costs for consumers, with plans for additional parks in the pipeline.

Addressing the relationship with trade unions, Petrou emphasizes the importance of mutual respect and collaboration. While acknowledging the unions' concerns, he underscores the need for distinct roles to ensure the organization's integrity and effectiveness.

High electricity bills remain a pressing issue for consumers, attributed to the high prices of liquid fuels and lack of interconnection with the European grid. Petrou advocates for a green energy transition coupled with modern energy storage technologies to alleviate these costs.

Regarding fuel procurement, the EAC conducts international tenders annually, adhering to specified criteria and EU policies on greenhouse gas emissions. Pre-purchasing greenhouse gas rights at lower prices in 2024 has helped mitigate costs for the organization.

In ensuring budgetary discipline and economic sustainability, the EAC focuses on operational efficiency and infrastructure maintenance. Tariff stability is maintained to cover operational costs and support development programs approved by regulatory authorities.

As Petrou assumes leadership at the EAC, his vision for a green energy future offers hope for a sustainable and affordable electricity supply for Cyprus.

As a key player in the energy sector, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) is steadfast in its commitment to evolving its development program. This includes the ongoing maintenance, modernisation, and expansion of infrastructure and facilities, alongside the establishment of new production units. The aim is to ensure seamless and reliable electricity production, transmission, distribution, and supply, maintaining quality standards that rival or surpass those of other global electric companies.

Addressing recent concerns about staff secondments, EAC officials clarified that the organisation follows the provisions of the Secondment Legislation meticulously. Employees are seconded to other entities with careful consideration of the Authority's capabilities, with reassurances that such transfers do not compromise the organisation's impartiality or effectiveness.

In response to growing anticipation surrounding the opening of the competitive electricity market, the EAC stands ready to embrace the challenge. The Minister of Energy's announcement regarding the market's expected launch by the end of 2024 has sparked discussions about its feasibility and implications.

EAC representatives expressed optimism about the potential benefits of a competitive market, viewing it as an opportunity to accelerate progress towards the overarching goal of reducing electricity costs for consumers. Emphasising the importance of an open and transparent marketplace, they underscored the need for equal participation from all stakeholders.

Anticipating the emergence of private electricity suppliers in the competitive landscape, the EAC remains undaunted by the prospect of increased competition. Instead, they see it as a catalyst for innovation and improvement. By fostering infrastructure development and enhancing service quality, the EAC aims to offer consumers a wide array of options while maintaining its commitment to excellence.

In the face of evolving market dynamics, the EAC remains resolute in its dedication to providing reliable and affordable electricity to the people of Cyprus. With a strategic vision focused on adaptation and growth, the organisation is poised to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, ensuring a sustainable energy future for the nation.

[This article summarizes Andreas Karamitas' original piece in Greek, published in Kathimerini's Cyprus edition]


News: Latest Articles