The Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (Cera) has adopted a draft decision on the development of Renewable Energy Source (RES) projects by the EAC, with the aim of expanding RES into the island’s energy mix.

The draft decision, entitled “Regulation of the development of RES projects for electricity generation by the Cyprus Electricity Authority” was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic on July 14.

After the draft’s publication, EAC submitted a plan for the installation of electricity production systems from RES, detailing the process of their development, licensing and implementation, which was approved by Cera.

The authority also agreed that EAC’s plan will contribute towards the government’s energy and climate goals until 2030, without being an obstacle to the creation of competitive conditions in the wholesale electricity market.

For the period 2005 to 2017, construction permits for a total installed capacity of 205 MW were granted by Cera to EAC, which were subsequently revoked.

At the same time, there was strong interest from private initiatives for the construction and operation of electricity generating stations to participate in a competitive electricity market.

Based on Cera’s data, new photovoltaic systems are continuously being integrated into the electricity grid, with the final result being the integration of an expected final power of approximately 348 MW.

According to EAC spokesperson Christina Papadopoulou, in addition to the solar park operating in Tseri, EAC is trialling the operation of another one in Akrotiri, with a total capacity of 12 MW.

She added that solar panels have been installed in 400 schools, with a total capacity of 4.2 MW.

Other projects in the works are the installation of solar panels at army barracks, and in Nicosia general hospital’s parking area.

At the same time, there are a number of projects under licensing, including one in collaboration with the archbishopric in the Ahera area. In the first phase, 16 MW will be licensed, while in the second phase, licences will be secured for 68 MW. Licensing for 5 MW in Ayios Ioannis Malounda is also progressing.

She reminded that EAC’s open tender for the long-term rental of land for solar parks will be open for another year.

As of October 10, 2023, after the submission of relevant applications by interested parties, Cera has issued 29 supply licences of which seven have already been included in the transitional regulation of the electricity market.

Cera also took into account the fact that the electricity grid in Cyprus is small and isolated.

It is reported that efforts to promote RES have contributed to the reduction of the EAC’s monopolistic control of the energy market.

EAC maintains a significant position in the market, making it the largest and only vertically integrated electricity company, but with the continued participation of private investors in the market, this monopoly is expected to continue to decline.

These efforts aim to achieve Cyprus’ energy and climate goals by 2030, while simultaneously promoting competition in the electricity market.

The announcement concluded that the draft decision will be presented to the European Commission for approval.