Renewable energy consumption in Cyprus has been steadily increasing since the country’s 2004 accession to the EU, and in 2021 stood at 18.4 per cent, up from 16.9 per cent in 2020, and 13.8 per cent in 2019.

However, renewable energy consumption in Cyprus stood below the EU average in 2021, according to data published by Eurostat on Friday.

Energy consumption from renewables in the EU reached 21.8 per cent in 2021, registering a decline of 0.3 percentage points, the first recorded decrease to date.

Eurostat explained the small decrease was due to the lifting of Covid-19 measures, which led to an energy consumption surge and a consequent decrease in the relative percentage of renewables, and also chalked it up possibly to a change in data calculation methodology.

In absolute numbers, in 2021 there was an increase in the production of energy from renewable sources compared to 2020.

The EU has set a directive for the share of energy from renewables to reach 32 per cent by 2030. With a 2021 proposal, the commission proposed increasing this to 40 per cent, and in 2022, through the REPowerEU project, it proposed a new increase to 45 per cent.

Among the member states, Sweden remains the country with the highest percentage of energy consumption from renewable sources (62.6 per cent), relying mainly on energy production from biomass, hydroelectric power, wind power, heat pumps and liquid biofuels.

Sweden is followed by Finland (43.1 per cent) and Latvia (42.1 per cent), mainly relying on biomass and hydropower, Estonia (37.6 per cent, using biomass and wind), Austria (36, 4 per cent, mainly hydro and biomass) and Denmark (34.7 per cent, mainly biomass and wind).

In addition to Cyprus, 14 other member states were below the EU average: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The lowest rates of energy consumption from renewables were recorded in Luxembourg (11.7 per cent), Malta (12.2 per cent), the Netherlands (12.3 per cent), Ireland (12.5 per cent) and Belgium (13 per cent).