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20 June, 2024
 
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Government's solar power initiative for vulnerable homes

Flexible payment options and targeted support

Newsroom / CNA

The government is currently working on the installation of free solar power systems for vulnerable individuals. The cost of these systems will be covered through a small charge added to the electricity bills of the Cyprus Electricity Authority. The Energy, Trade, and Industry Minister, George Papastasiou, stated that the goal is to have every roof in Cyprus equipped with its own solar panel system.

After the completion of the Ministerial Council, Mr. Papastasiou explained that the plan, which is still being developed, has multiple objectives. Firstly, it aims to address the issue of limited space for large-scale solar parks. Secondly, it seeks to support those who lack the initial capital required to install a solar system, promoting sustainable energy use.

Despite calls from parties and organizations for an expansion of subsidized electricity during the high-temperature months, the Energy Minister clarified that the government has no intention of implementing such measures. Instead, their focus is on targeted support and sustainable assistance through government initiatives.

Mr. Papastasiou further emphasized the importance of placing solar panels on rooftops, as it avoids using arable land for their installation, which can be visually polluting and counterproductive to agriculture. The government recognizes that some income groups may find it difficult to afford a household solar system with a cost ranging from €6,000 to €6,500. To address this, they are developing programs in collaboration with the Cyprus Electricity Authority, where the system's cost will be spread over installments, following a reduction in electricity expenses.

For instance, in a house where the electricity bill typically ranges from €300 to €400 every two months, the installation of a solar system could reduce it to €25 to €30 for the same period. The additional small amount to cover the investment is not considered burdensome for homeowners.

In conclusion, the government's initiative aims to make solar power accessible to vulnerable households while promoting sustainable energy practices and minimizing the impact on agricultural land. By implementing these measures, Cyprus takes a step towards a more environmentally friendly and economically viable future.

Responding to a question, Mr. Papastasiou said that there will be packages implemented by the Cyprus Electricity Authority, but no official announcement has been made yet as the plan is still being reviewed.

"We will soon announce packages with 4 kilowatts, 7 kilowatts, and 10 kilowatts, depending on what is suitable for each household," he added.

He also mentioned that they are considering how to include the cost of these packages in the electricity bills.

The Energy Minister emphasized the importance of focusing on sustainable support rather than sporadic subsidies. He suggested that households should look into their own energy conservation and explore energy upgrade plans provided by the Ministry of Energy, rather than relying on subsidies.

Acknowledging that there are vulnerable groups in need of assistance, Mr. Papastasiou stated that targeted support should be directed towards these groups, while the government's resources are limited.

Regarding energy storage, the Minister said that public consultations have been initiated for the installation of energy storage facilities in the grid. The goal is to reduce the waste of electrical energy during periods of low consumption, particularly in autumn and spring, which currently affects investors in solar parks.

The plan envisions a centralized system unless there is significant interest in decentralized systems placed strategically near solar parks or areas with high energy production. In such cases, a centralized system might not be necessary. The Minister aims to have a functional energy storage system in the grid within the next two years.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

TAGS
Cyprus  |  energy  |  solar  |  government  |  presidency

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