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EAC and archdiocese partnership to meet solar energy demand

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An unprecedented demand for photovoltaic (PV) installations for residences is in evidence, chairman of the Cyprus Association of Renewable Energy Enterprises, Fanos Karantonis said on Tuesday.

Speaking on CyBC radio, Karantonis said that whereas in 2019 applications numbered around 200 monthly, they currently stand at around 1000 monthly for 2022. Karantonis attributed the recent surge in interest to the energy crisis but added that the government subsidy plans announced in May played a role, too, as did enhanced public environmental awareness.

The government subsidy plan knocks off around €1000- €1500 from a total average installation cost of €6000, Karantonis estimated, which covers the energy needs of a four-person household living in a space of 180-200 m², an investment which would pay for itself within two to three years.

Cyprus Electricity Authority (EAC) spokesman Dimitris Nathanael, confirmed that applications for private residence PV installations have doubled since last year, and assured the public that EAC was training additional staff, working overtime, and sending out inspectors on weekends to cope with the demand and ensure efficient processing.

As regards the recent partnership between EAC and the Holy Archdiocese of Cyprus, AHK-IAC Ahera Renewables Ltd, and the construction of 14 additional photovoltaic parks with a capacity of 84 MW in the communities of Ayios Ioannis Maloundas and Mitseros, Nathanael clarified that the partnership between EAC and IAC extends only as far as the securing of permits.

The project would be implemented in stages, Nathanael explained, with ‘Phase A’ being the construction of a 16MW capacity park of which 8MW is to be distributed by EAC and 8MW by IAC. In ‘Phase B’ an additional 10MW are to be generated, and so forth, as all the relevant permits are secured.

Overall, Nathanael said, this would result in net gains for consumers for the simple reason of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and the resultant emissions fines that accompany their ongoing use.

Recently photovoltaics as commercial installations have come under increased public scrutiny and demands for authorities to cap pricing or even make companies pay a back tax for profits gained, as consumer groups have accused the parks of profiteering at the expense of consumers.

More scathing critics have accused the state of disingenuity in forcing citizens to invest in home systems and delaying a policy of providing cheap, zero-emmissions energy for thousands of households, while allowing investment in liquid natural gas to continue unhindered.

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