Bright future for photovoltaics in Cyprus but innovations are necessary, experts say

With inflated electricity prices hitting households and businesses, the installation of photovoltaic systems looms as an attractive solution for more and more consumers. This also becomes apparent in the latest figures from the Ministry of Energy, indicating an increase in demand.

Supporting households and especially those vulnerable to the effects of the crisis seems to be one of the main objectives of the Cypriot Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry, through the programs it announced, and to which it allocated an increased budget, prompting “great interest” as it was noted.

At the same time, the programs aim to promote Renewable Energy Sources (RES), so that Cyprus can meet the ambitious energy goals, set by the European Union.

However, experts report that the inclusion of photovoltaics in the energy mix of Cyprus without combining them with other technologies that stabilize the system, leads to an increase in the price of kilowatt hour, and ultimately fails to achieve the goals of green development.

According to data from the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry, until August 26, 2022, the Ministry received 3,433 applications for the installation of photovoltaic systems. This number corresponds to almost as many applications as the Ministry had for the whole of 2021. Of these, 1231 applications are from vulnerable households.

At the same time, for roof thermal insulation the Ministry received 90 applications until August 26, 2022, and for a thermal insulation/photovoltaic combination there is also increased interest with 32 applications to date.

For the installation/replacement of photovoltaics in 2022, the Ministry has three times the funds (950 thousand euros in the budget) and accepted 1615 applications, while in 2021 there were 1000 applications.

Applications for the installation of a photovoltaic system for charging electric vehicles with a budget of €1 million have also started, which also promotes energy storage.

Based on the latest available data there are almost 27 thousand installed photovoltaic Net-metering systems with a total power of 118 MW.

“Taking into account all installed RES, the percentage of penetration is not insignificant, if one considers that their total installed power currently exceeds 20% and is considered one of the largest percentages of dispersed production in Europe in proportion to the population”, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Marios Panayides, told CNA.

He added that the Ministry’s aim is to take advantage of the favorable circumstances created through the crisis to promote energy conservation, photovoltaics and energy storage.

The plans of the Ministry of Energy for the installation of photovoltaics for domestic consumers will certainly benefit individual households, but as a whole their contribution to the energy mix will be small, Pavlos Liasides, the Director of Technology Company Thalis Engineering Co Ltd, which deals with RES technology issues, told CNA.

At the same time, Liasides focused on the need for the installation of photovoltaics to be combined with other technologies, so that production costs are really reduced and Cyprus can achieve its goals.

As he said, although generating electricity with photovoltaics is the cheapest way to generate electricity, their inclusion in the system without being accompanied by other technologies increases the price of the average cost per kilowatt hour.

Source: Cyprus News Agency