The Government does not intend to stop the measure that encourages the installation of solar panels in homes, but to enhance it, the Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Natasa Pilides pointed out on Friday.
Pilides was commenting on a joint letter sent by Cyprus Transmission System Operator (TSOC) and the Distribution Director that the scheme should be terminated since the system cannot absorb more energy from Renewable Energy Sources (RES).
Speaking to Cyprus News Agency, Pilides called on the two operators instead of sending letters that spread panic, to immediately consider the appropriate technical solutions and implement them as soon as possible.
As she says the termination of the scheme at a time of energy crisis, when every consumer should be given the opportunity to install a solar system and reduce the costs of electricity, would be unacceptable.
She added that the Government not only does not intend to stop the measure which has been in place for ten years and which was embraced by the citizens but on the contrary, it will enhance it.
As the Minister mentioned, the measure not only reduces the cost of electricity in homes, vulnerable households and businesses, but it also promotes the green transition, reduces dependency on fossil fuels and the purchase of emissions rights. It also contributes, she noted, to the achievement of Cyprus' pledges resulting from the European Green Deal, the Fit-for-55 legislative package and RepowerEU.
She added that the measure has created the conditions for a significant increase in solar panel penetration.
"Today, more than 31 thousand photovoltaics with the net-metering system are installed in homes with a total power of more than 140 MW, which exceeds 20% of the total installed RES power in our country," she said.
She also noted that with the incentives given by the Ministry from 2013 to 2022, the penetration of residential and commercial solar systems has increased by 1700%.
As she said, the applications that have been submitted until the end of 2022 for the payment of the sponsorship have doubled, while the applications from vulnerable households have almost tripled.
The Minister also said that there are technical solutions, such as reallocating the capacity between residential and commercial projects.
In addition, in his statements to CNA, the spokesman of TSOC Vrahimis Koutsoloukas said that they have sent a letter to the Ministry to stop the installation of photovoltaics based on the existing scheme and that they have proposed that the new applications should be included in the framework of a new plan, with additional requirements for the installation of photovoltaics.
He added that they are currently at the limit with regard to the installation of photovoltaics, based on the existing plan, which cannot be exceeded.
Koutsoloukas also said that more energy from RES could be absorbed if there were storage systems or if there was an electrical interconnection, which is not something that the Operators could control.