The launch of the ‘photovoltaics for all’ scheme will likely get the green light from the cabinet next week, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Tuesday. 

Speaking on a television channel, the minister explained that, once the cabinet approves the scheme, a digital platform will go live with the creation of a ‘merchants register’ for the companies wishing to participate. 

The ‘merchants’ are businesses that install solar panels. 

Next, in early February the platform will go live for people to apply on it. 

Papanastasiou said he anticipated “a great deal of interest” on the part of the public. 

“That’s why the necessary steps have been taken so as not to overload the platform during the first days when a large number of applications will be filed.” 

The minister said people should not worry about getting left behind, because while the first phase of the scheme will cover some 6,000 applicants, before the first phase is over another 6,000 application slots will be added – funded by the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) fund. 

He said the scheme includes two criteria – 4.2 kilowatts of power and an annual consumption of 6,000 kilowatt-hours. 

For those opting to join, the solar panel will be installed, inspected and connected to the grid within the space of two-and-a-half months. 

Responding to a question, the minister clarified that also eligible to apply are people residing in refugee housing estates and who do not possess a title deed – provided they hold other documents proving they live in the residence in question. 

The scheme was first announced last July. People will apply for a rooftop system, then repay it via instalments to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus. 

Though dubbed ‘photovoltaics for all’, industry sources estimated that it will ultimately cover about 30,000 households.