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Energy grid held to ransom

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Union-led workers at the Electricity Authority of Cyprus do not seem to have understood the free-market concept of competition. Instead, they are again manipulating the pre-election period to push through selfish demands to secure their high-paying jobs.

Regardless of the cost-benefit of decommissioning uneconomical and high-emission units at the Dhekelia power station, this is to be replaced by the EAC’s right to add renewable sources to the island’s energy mix, including the solar market the Authority wants to corner.

That is why unions are taking control of state assets, and no one dares to challenge them two months before the next elections and unilaterally shut down the power station next week to prove their point.

The energy regulator has rightly told the EAC it should clearly separate power production from distribution, which trade unions are hesitant to encourage, with households discouraged from installing unlimited photovoltaic panels on their roofs.

This results in a delay in application approvals for individual homes, where families want to benefit from such an investment based on none other than the free sunshine that God has endowed this land.

It’s easy to blame the local licensing authorities (municipalities), whose hands are tied and cannot greenlight unlimited applications, which could have transformed Cyprus into a leading economy with the highest penetration of RES power, available to consume cheaply and even export.

With such panels limited by what the EAC estimates should be placed on your roof, it simply does not want individuals to eventually produce more energy from clean resources, making Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s ‘Green Deal’ mission look like a farce.

On the other hand, even with the whistleblower protection enshrined into law, we have yet to hear from a single EAC worker to substantiate why Cyprus has constantly delayed converting all power stations to natural gas and the even greater delay in importing this resource.

They probably feared their jobs would gradually decrease, just as was when the state telecom monopoly Cyta eventually opened up to other providers for fixed and mobile telephony and broadband.

As a result, consumers are constantly benefiting from fairer deals, although we still have a long way to go for this cost to come substantially further down.

EAC union reps have been allowed to constantly undermine any initiative from the private sector, despite these being cheaper solutions and more efficient in the long run.

No one is willing to put them in their place.

Until this happens, we will continue to suffer from ridiculous power cuts, with these workers given the keys to the vault, which is constantly depleting, to their personal benefit.