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Cyprus’ electricity hike was among lowest in EU, Pilides says

Energy Minister Natasa Pilides

Cyprus has the second lowest hike in electricity costs in the EU and was among the first member states to adopt the 10 per cent reduction measure, Energy Minister Natasa Pilides told MPs on Friday.

The minister told the House finance committee during discussion on her ministry’s budget for 2022 that Cyprus has taken a series of measures to tackle rising energy prices, which will be implemented earlier than in most EU countries.

According to Pilides Cyprus has the second lowest increase in electricity costs in the EU, and  was one of the first countries to adopt the 10 per cent reduction in electricity costs for the next four months, as well as several other measures that push both households and businesses towards adopting green policies.

Prices in Cyprus rose 38 per cent over the summer, 28 per cent with the reduction negotiated with the EAC.

“Surely, beyond the reduction of costs, the goal of the measures should be the green transition,” she said. The minister said that the best measures for everyone are the adoption of green practices, which also reduce the cost of electricity in the long term.

Pilides said the toolkit prepared by the EU has already been studied and meetings were held, aiming at long-term measures and the shift to green growth.

Regarding the opening of the electricity market, she said that the procedures are underway for the completion of the software of the Transmission System Operator, through which the competitive electricity market can be put into operation. This is expected to take place in the autumn of 2022, Pilides said, expressing optimism that the schedules will be met.

According to the minister, at the same time, the framework is moving forward for energy storage. She explained that with the opening of the electricity market, energy storage will be possible in households but also in energy autonomous communities that will be able to have their own small grid. She expressed the hope that this would be embraced by municipalities and communities.

Regarding the lifting of energy isolation, she said that €25m will be given for the implementation of the EuroAsia Interconnector project for the electricity interconnection of Cyprus, Israel and Greece.

Pilides also said that works continue for the construction of infrastructure for the import of liquefied natural gas and its regasification. The project is estimated at €289m, she said.

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