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17 July, 2024
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Urgent call to liberalize electricity market

Mr. Neophytou questions Cyprus' natural gas strategy and lack of benefits

Mr. Neophytou attended the Annual General Assembly of the Electricity Market Association (EMA) on Thursday, June 29th, and delivered a greeting. In his address, Mr. Neophytou emphasized that the energy sector requires significant investments and, therefore, long-term planning and the formulation of a national energy policy. He also noted that for the issue of the electric interconnection of Cyprus, cooperation with other island members of the European Union might be necessary to pursue a specific European policy for island countries.

"Cyprus, Malta, Ireland, and even Greece with its many islands can collectively advocate for a special policy regarding our energy planning," Mr. Neophytou stated, adding that "with proper national planning, we can transform our country's disadvantage into a major advantage due to its geostrategic position."

Mr. Neophytou also questioned the country's policy on natural gas. Will the strategy change every time there is a new government or a new minister? Since 2011, we have discovered natural gas reserves, but until now, we haven't benefited the country, while four different plans exist concurrently. These include the East Med Pipeline, the MoU with Egypt for natural gas transportation, the under-construction FSRU in Vasiliko for natural gas regasification, and now a pipeline from Israeli territories but not from our own to bring natural gas to Cyprus and liquefy it. In the end, Mr. Neophytou mentioned that all that remains are the plans.

Mr. Neophytou also emphasized that since we know the European target for complete and absolute independence from conventional energy sources by 2050, it is contradictory not to emphasize it and to continue following policies that focus on conventional fuels.

He also stressed the urgent need to liberalize the electricity market "without reservations and asterisks." The opening of the market should be based on the needs of the economy and not the needs of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC). He also highlighted the need to upgrade the transmission network and the necessity of true independence for the system operator.

Furthermore, Mr. Neophytou noted that procedures should be simplified, and a strategy should be established for energy storage to protect the investments and investors currently investing in the sector despite the increased cost of financing and high-interest rates while taking sustainability into account.

Cyprus  |  electricity  |  speech

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