Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides has welcomed the approval the approval of EU funds for the EuroAsia Interconnector, but the money is not enough for the submarine cable to reach Israel.
EU member states came to an agreement on a European Commission proposal to invest over a billion euro under the Connecting Europe Facility for trans-European energy networks, including the largest amount going to the EuroAsia interconnector project to support the first electricity interconnection between Cyprus and the European grid.
“The €657m of CEF funding approved for EuroAsia_HVDC is excellent news for Cyprus,” Pilides said on Wednesday.
Pilides took to Twitter saying the electricity interconnection between Crete and Cyprus would end the island nation’s energy isolation and introduce better market conditions.
'Recent months have reminded us again how crucial a well-integrated EU energy market is for ensuring affordable energy and security of supply, as well as the clean energy transition'
The Cypriot minister also thanked EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, who had recently retweeted a post by Energy4Europe, a social media handle promoting green deal energy-related policy developments and news.
“Recent months have reminded us again how crucial a well-integrated EU energy market is for ensuring affordable energy and security of supply, as well as the clean energy transition,” Simson said according to an official press release.
The commissioner said she wanted to particularly highlight the EuroAsia interconnector, as it would “bring an end to the energy isolation of Cyprus and link it to the rest of Europe.”
But the allocation of EU funds did not cover the last leg of the connection between the power grids of Cyprus and Israel.
Cyprus had pushed for the EuroAsia Interconnector as a European Project of Common Interest aiming to connect the national electricity grids of the island with Israel and Greece through 750 miles of submarine cable.
Last year the European Commission had confirmed PCI status for both the EuroAsia Interconnector and the EastMed gas pipeline projects, meaning they both had strategic value for the bloc’s energy security and were worthy of EU funding.
But Nicosia was recently irked over developments in the energy domain, after it emerged that the United States did not favor an EastMed gas pipeline that would connect Israel, Cyprus, and Greece to the European continent while excluding Turkey and other market routes.
Critics including members on the Left in the European Parliament have been calling on Brussels to cancel the Israel-Cyprus leg.
Cyprus currently has no energy interconnection, with island importing high-emission fuels to generate power, a cost that many experts say is always picked up by the consumer or tax payer.