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Cyprus sees energy-savings target of 14.5 per cent for 2020

The government has set an energy-savings target of 14.5 per cent for the year 2020, a senior energy ministry official told MPs on Tuesday.

Every percentile in energy savings currently corresponds to €10m, said Stelios Chimonas, permanent secretary of the energy and commerce ministry.

For its energy-efficiency plans for the period 2014 to 2020, the state will set aside €32m for two ‘Save and Upgrade’ schemes targeted at residencies and businesses.

The first ‘Save and Upgrade’ scheme has already been launched, with €14m allocated, involving government grants to homes and business premises.

The second scheme involves bank loans.

Chimonas said they intended to hire people from the private sector to assist in processing applications, as at present the four ministry employees working on this cannot handle the workload, slowing down the process.

According to the official, from 2004 to 2013 some €47m was diverted from the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) fund to financing energy-savings projects.

The government hopes to achieve the energy-savings targets based on projections of a slowdown in national energy consumption – chiefly due to the financial squeeze.

According to the same forecasts, energy consumption will rebound to pre-2013 levels by no earlier than around 2018.

The projections are also based on expectations/assumptions of a higher penetration of renewables in the energy mix.

Cyprus must transpose into national law three EU directives relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Speaking to reporters after the House energy and commerce committee session, AKEL MP Costas Costa cited the high cost of electricity here due to the island’s reliance on imported heavy fuel oil.

With the right measures, he added, reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation could be slashed from 95 per cent currently to 55 per cent by 2020.

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