By Stelios Orphanides
The share of renewable energy sources in power generation last year rose to 8.5 per cent from 7 per cent in 2014, mainly on increased output from photovoltaic systems, the transmission system operator said.
In 2015, total power generation rose 4.6 per cent to 4,512,404 megawatt-hours compared to 2014, with the share of thermal power generators, operated mainly by state-owned power producer Electricity Authority of Cyprus, shrinking to 91.5 per cent, the TSO said in a statement on its website.
Power generation from thermal units rose 2.9 per cent to 4,127,876 Mwh, while overall electricity generated by windfarms, both connected to the transmission and distribution networks, rose 21 per cent to 221,398 Mwh, the TSO said. Output from photovoltaic systems rose 53 per cent to 125,920 Mwh.
The rise in output from photovoltaics was partly a result of the increased capacity installed, which rose last year 25 per cent to 76.5 megawatts, after almost doubling in 2014, the TSO said. Overall wind-power generation capacity rose 7.4 per cent to 157.5 megawatts.
Total biomass generation capacity remained unchanged at 9.7 per cent last year, producing 37,211 Mwh, or 0.8 per cent of total power generated last year, the TSO said.
The slowdown in the increase of renewable generation capacity is related to the phasing out of subsidies, Pavlos Liassides, chairman of a business group representing private investors in the energy sector, said in a telephone interview. In addition, investors are put off by the absence of a competitive market, he continued.
Liassides did not rule out that a number of investors who risk losing their licence for certain projects in August, decide to complete them.
“The Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority gave them an August 12 deadline to file the letter of guarantees,” he said. “Otherwise, other investors will get their licence”.