Just over a sixth of Cypriot electricity consumption came from renewable energy sources in 2022, it was learned on Wednesday.

The exact figure, 17.2 per cent, was included in a report handed to President Nikos Christodoulides by the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (Cera). The report adds that the proportion of Cypriot electricity consumption coming from renewable energy sources is expected to have increased in 2023 and to continue increasing in the coming years.

The report adds that Cyprus is the seventh most expensive country for energy consumers in the European Union according to the bloc’s statistical agency Eurostat.

It described 2022 as “undoubtedly a year of instability in the European market”, which “mutated into an energy crisis”. It said the causes of this crisis were “a series of negative factors which had a chain effect on the energy market”.

Meanwhile, globally increasing fuel prices and a general economic recovery bolstered by the easing of pandemic measures contributed to overall rises in energy prices.

The report said that “the challenges and uncertainty facing the global energy system reached their zenith in 2022 after almost 50 years following the last major energy shocks in the 1970s”.

To this end, it recommended that Cyprus “upgrade its electrical network so as to increase the flexibility of its electrical system, where alongside the use of natural gas and energy storage technologies, the additional penetration of renewable energy sources into Cyprus’ energy market is ensured without significant cuts in energy production.”

It was, however, sympathetic to the “significant challenges” faced by Cyprus as regards energy, and it commended the “continuous effort being made so that the island ceases to be electrically isolated from Europe and the rest of the world.”

“With proper planning and the establishment of appropriate electrical interconnectors, this era of challenges will be brought to an end and Cyprus will be able to utilise its energy potential to the maximum possible extent and become an energy hub for the transfer of electricity to and from the EU and from Israel and Egypt,” it said.

It added that such initiatives will “simultaneously increase the island’s energy security”.

Within the scope of the report, Cera included a list of strategic objectives concerning regulatory issues related to the transition to renewable energy sources.

These include the supervision and continuous regulation of a transition to a “competitive energy market”, monitoring of the emergence of the natural gas market, the development of a regulatory framework based on the “Green new deal” and relevant EU environmental targets, and assurances of stable pricing for consumers.