The energy policy of Cyprus is formulated by the Energy Service of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism and approved by the Council of Ministers and is fully aligned with the European Union’s energy strategy.
The main priorities of this energy policy are: decoupling of economic growth from the use of energy; improvement of energy contribution, by increasing the competitiveness of the Cypriot economy, while respecting the country’s environmental commitments; ensuring adequate, secure, and cost-effective energy supply, through the diversification of energy supply sources; encouragement of use of Renewable Energy Sources; promotion of the efficient use of energy; and energy conservation. In addition, the hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activity within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus is an important pillar of the national energy policy.
The Energy Service of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, is responsible for the implementation of the Country’s energy policy and particularly for:
- Monitoring and coordinating the supply and distribution of adequate quantities of energy, at the lowest possible cost, to meet domestic demand.
- Preparing and implementing programmes for the rational use of energy and exploitation of the indigenous renewable energy sources.
- Formulating the Country’s energy policy, in collaboration with all other competent bodies and organizations.
- Harmonizing Cyprus’ energy legislation with that of the European Union.
- Supervising hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.
- Promotion of cooperation with neighboring countries.
In addition the main objectives of the Energy Service’ are: the full liberalization of the electricity market by 1/1/2014 so that all consumers will be eligible for choosing their supplier, the implementation of major energy infrastructure, the promotion of the energy conservation and the rational use of energy in all sectors of economy and the systematic supply of the public on energy issues.
The Energy Service is also responsible for the operation of the Applied Energy Center. The Center is equipped with modern equipment for the performance testing of solar systems in accordance with internationally standards. The main aim of the Center is to help the solar-thermal systems manufacturers to improve the quality of their products and to facilitate their export to European and International markets.
Investments in the Renewable Energy Sources and Energy savings Sector
The National Energy Policy of Cyprus is based on the following main pillars: the development of indigenous energy resources, security of energy supply, competitiveness and the protection of the environment. Certain of the above national energy policy goals have been translated already into specific quantitative and binding targets for the country for the 2020 milestone:
- 13% contribution from renewable energy sources in the final use of energy;
- 10% contribution from renewable energy sources in the road transport consumption;
- 10% energy saving in the final energy consumption by 2016(indicative target)
- 14.3 % saving in primary energy consumption by 2020(indicative target)
- 3% annual renovation for improving the energy efficiency of public buildings for the period of 2014-2020 (mandatory target)
- Annual energy savings in the final consumption for the period of 2014-2020, equal to 1.5 % of the average sales of the energy distributors and retail energy sales companies of the years 2010-2012 (mandatory target)
- By 31st of December 2020, all new buildings, must be nearly zero energy buildings
In order for Cyprus to achieve the above targets, the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, industry and Tourism has compiled and approved support schemes. The support schemes aim to provide financial incentives in the form of government grants and/or subsidies (feed in tariffs) for the promotion and penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Energy Savings (ESav). Individuals as well as companies / organizations are eligible for participation. In summary, the support schemes cover investments for thermal insulation on existing residential buildings, heating / cooling from RES and electricity generation from RES. The support schemes address mature technologies (RES and ESav) rather than technologies currently under research and development
It should be noted, that the support schemes are being reviewed and if required updated on an annual basis, so that the incentives provided ensure the viability of RES systems. Furthermore, any support scheme revision in done after taking into account any changes in the energy policy of the country. The terms and conditions for participation in RES and Esav support schemes are specified in the support schemes documents, the application forms and the investments guides.
Moreover, it is estimated that 30 % of total energy consumption is due to the building sector. Hence, measures have been implemented to promote energy saving and enhance the use of renewable energy sources such as minimum energy performance requirements, energy performance certificates and regular inspections of heating and air conditioning systems.
More detailed information such as: deadlines for submission, available capacities and any other general provisions for the participation to the support schemes can be obtained from the website of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, (www.mcit.gov.cy), as well as from the website of the Cyprus Institute of Energy (www.cie.org.cy).