CYPRUS is on a firm trajectory to using natural gas for electricity generation by the year 2021, president Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday.
“We are on a path to implementing the important goals of liberalising the energy market, the advent of natural gas, and creating those conditions that will allow the shift to renewable energy sources rather than relying on costly and polluting technologies.”
His comments came after a meeting with the head of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) Andreas Poullikkas, who handed over CERA’s annual report for 2018.
Anastasiades was alluding to a recent decision awarding to a Chinese-led consortium the contract to build the infrastructures necessary to import and store natural gas, for electricity production.
A second tender, for the purchase of the actual gas, is still running.
For his part, Poullikkas said studies conducted by CERA project that, based on the current state of affairs, there will be a shortage of some 600MW between 2022 and 2024.
This is due to an anticipated surge in demand for electricity in coming years, as well as the decommissioning of six steam turbines at the Dhekelia power station.
Currently in Cyprus, conventional (fossil-fuel powered) technologies generate 1500MW, while another 300MW is produced from renewables.
However, based on licences granted to conventional-fuel energy producers, and the expected addition of 300MW from renewables over the next one or two years, CERA expects the 600MW shortfall to be covered.
Poullikkas also recalled that the electricity market in Cyprus is currently in a transitional phase, ahead of full liberalisation.