Bioland Energy Group, a member of the Eptagon Group, one of Cyprus’ largest solar energy companies, held an informative workshop on December 1, 2023, focusing on renewable energy sources (RES) and the potential of agrivoltaic systems in Cyprus.
The aim of the workshop was to highlight issues related to delays seen in Cyprus in terms of developing RES, despite our country’s EU obligations. According to what was presented during the workshop, the EU expects Cyprus to raise the share of renewable energy in its overall energy consumption to 42.5 per cent, at a time when our country’s RES penetration for 2023 is estimated at about 24 per cent.
As Bioland Energy Group Licensing Director George Varnava mentioned in his own presentation, the installation of photovoltaic and agrivoltaic systems is an ideal way to achieve Cyprus’ green energy targets. In particular, as far as agrivoltaics are concerned, they are a promising solution, combining the use of agricultural land and production of solar energy. Such systems boast multiple benefits for the agriculture sector, as seen through their deployment in other countries. Among other things, they have the potential to increase agricultural crop yields, reduce water consumption and fuel consumption costs for irrigation and provide protection from adverse weather conditions (such as hail), all while producing green energy.
Workshop attendees included Agriculture Minister Petros Xenofontos, Chairmen of the Agriculture and Energy House Committees, respectively, Yiannakis Gavriel and Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis, Aradippou Mayor Evangelos Evangelides, as well as representatives of agricultural organisations and of relevant services of competent ministries.
In his address, Bioland Energy Group CEO Demetris Constantinides, referred to the need to boost Cyprus’ green energy production. For his part, welcoming workshop participants, Agriculture House Committee Chairman Gavriel expressed the wish for actions to help the country wean itself off fossil fuels. He stressed that the penalties Cyprus pays for exceeding the EU’s emission targets – which may be over €500m in 2024 – are inexcusable, and should not be tolerated by society.
Meanwhile, House Committee Chairman on Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism Hadjiyiannis underlined the fact that the Republic has fallen sorely behind in its targets and obligations for renewable-source energy production, emphasising the need for a swift transition to a green economy and an open-electricity market.
Agriculture organisations representatives welcomed the major benefits of agrivoltaics, anticipating their implementation to help Cyprus’ agriculture sector significantly, by allowing farmers to produce renewable energy and cultivate their crops at the same time.