Cyprus ranked penultimate among the 27 countries in the European Union in the use of renewable energy sources. This was reported by Eurostat. This situation calls for a change in a large-scale energy project linking Israel, Greece and Cyprus.
In the Eurostat ranking, Cyprus shares 26th place with Hungary. Renewable energy sources account for only 12% of the total electricity consumption in both countries. This is three times lower than the average in the European Union, where this figure reached 37%. Worse than Cyprus and Hungary, things are only in Malta, where the share of renewable energy does not exceed 10%.
The best results were shown in Austria (78%), Sweden (75%), Denmark (65%), Portugal (58%), Croatia and Latvia (both 53%). In the European Union as a whole, the share of renewables in electricity generation increased in 2020 to 37%, which is three percentage points higher than in 2019.
Wind and hydropower have become the most popular types of green energy – they account for more than two-thirds of the total amount of electricity generated by green methods (36% and 33%, respectively). The remaining third of the energy is generated by the sun (14%), solid biofuels (8%) and other renewable sources (8%). However, solar energy is the fastest growing source, having in 2008 accounted for only 1% of the electricity consumed in the European Union.
EU approves energy project for Cyprus and Greece
On January 26, Brussels decided to allocate a subsidy of 657 million euros to Cyprus for the implementation of the EuroAsia Interconnector cross-border energy project. This is one of five European cross-border projects with a total budget of 1.37 billion euros approved under the Connect Europe programme. Brussels’ decision was made after careful examinations and the results of numerous studies conducted by the future contractor. The allocated amount covers only a third of the entire budget, so the contractor intends to borrow part of the funds from the European Investment Bank or other credit institutions. Previously, the project was already on the list of socially significant European initiatives, and about 14 million euros were spent on researching its effectiveness. The Cypriot government is ready to allocate €100 million to the EuroAsia Interconnector programme, which it will receive as part of the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
“The EuroAsia Interconnector is the most expensive project Cyprus has ever been involved in,” Energy Minister Natasha Peledis said at a press conference on the ambitious plan. According to her, the approval from the European Union came as a result of hard work and cooperation between the project developer and interested ministries and services. “The financing will allow the construction of the electrical interconnection section between Cyprus and Crete, the cost of which is estimated at more than 1.5 billion euros,” Peledis said. She noted that the project is being implemented in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Cyprus, Greece and Israel in March 2021.
According to the energy minister, the project is the cornerstone of the government’s quest to create a green economy in the country, “in full accordance with our environmental policy”.
President Nicos Anastasiades described the EU’s decision as a milestone for Cyprus and for the implementation of the three countries’ strategic energy goals.
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