Cyprus surpasses renewable energy targets

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Electricity generated from renewable energy sources in Cyprus could eventually make up as much as half of all power conveyed to other countries through an electricity cable linking the island’s power grids to Israel and Greece, officials said.

Energy Minister Natasa Pilides told reporters that renewable sources produced almost 15.2% of Cyprus’ electricity last year, nearly 4% more than in 2019.

That figure contributed to a nearly 3% increase in electricity generated from solar panels in 2020, reaching 9.2% last year.

Pilides said her ministry is consulting with the European Union about increasing the country’s 2030 target for RES-generated electricity from the current 23%.

Construction of the EuroAsia Interconnector cable by the Norwegian subsidiary of French cable manufacturer Nexans is slated to begin before summer.

The first phase, with a 1,000-megawatt capacity, is expected to be completed in 2026.

The cable to Greece and Israel, which will eventually have a 2,000 MW capacity, is touted as the world’s longest and deepest subsea electricity cable, at 1,208 kilometres and 3,000 metres.

It will cost roughly €1.6 bln ($1.56 bln), with the EU providing a little under half of the funding.

Cyprus is the only EU country not linked to the power grid of another member of the 27-nation bloc.

Government officials said constructing the electricity cable would end the country’s energy isolation and provide greater security. (source AP)