Over €16 bln investments in energy this decade

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Cyprus’ investment footprint in the energy sector is small but not insignificant, with expected ventures at over €16 billion for the decade 2021-2030, experts said.

At the 11th Energy Symposium, the discussion focused on the challenges facing the energy sector, specifically electricity in Cyprus, and the investment opportunities that arise.

Chair of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou said the inclusion of RES in the EAC electricity mix is ​​necessary for reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and the price of electricity.

She noted that a development plan has been prepared that allows EAC to be actively involved in RES and contribute to achieving the national energy transition goals.

Such as the Akrotiri 12 MW photovoltaic park has already been put into operation.

Panayiotou said the energy cost from this park is 5.5 cents per kWh and “will offer the first, although small, reduction in energy costs to all consumers.”

There is a preliminary study for installing energy storage systems using batteries with a total capacity of 240 MWH.

The project’s budget is €60 million and, if approved, is expected to be completed by 2025.

Other challenges EAC faces are opening of the electricity market, importing natural gas, installing additional metering system infrastructure, and developing projects in the transmission and distribution networks.

Stavros Stavrinos, Executive Director at Transmission System Operator Cyprus, focused on the challenges of managing the grid efficiently with the penetration of RES.

He said the goal is to absorb as much energy from renewable sources as possible.

However, in Cyprus, the penetration of RES has reached the point where it prevents the system from being scheduled economically and safely, which, he said, must be solved before further penetration of RES occurs.

George Chrysochos, CEO of Power Energy Cyprus (PEC), which is preparing to operate in July 2024 the first independent power plant with a budget of €200 million, said emissions are estimated to be 40% less than the current average conventional production.

He stressed that investors are asking for a stable investment environment, noting there is also private investment interest in energy storage.

Nicos Trypatsas, Deputy General Manager of the Cyprus Stock Exchange, said energy sector companies should go public through CSE.

He said that several trillion euros of green bonds are invested in Europe.

In Cyprus, the CSE diversified its pricing policy to encourage this type of bond, said Trypatsas, with the first application to raise €5 million for two photovoltaic parks already made.

Costis Stampolis, Executive Director of the Institute of Energy of South East Europe, reported that investment interest in the Southeast Mediterranean region has increased by €137 billion from 2017 to 2021, with the estimated investments for 2021-2030 reaching €436 billion.

For Cyprus, investments for the decade are expected to reach €16.2 billion, compared to €7.4 billion, which were the estimates in 2017.