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Next Previous” Electroshock “to CERA from a letter from the Auditor General HOME • INSIDER • CYPRUS start>
& nbsp & nbspChrysanthos Manolis & nbsp; & nbsp;
Very serious remarks and criticisms for the management by CERA of the important issue of the penetration of the Cyprus Electricity Authority in Renewable Energy Sources (RES) include a five-page letter of the Auditor General to the three senior officials of the Regulatory Authority, exercised by the Audit Office in the EAC for its very small presence in green energy.
In general, Odysseas Michailidis seems to raise, in some parts of his letter, the issue of order for CERA, in which he charges decisions, actions and omissions that financially damage the EAC and mainly electricity consumers, since, according to the Auditor , the EAC is prevented by CERA to integrate RES (photovoltaic) systems in its production, which would reduce its total production costs and consequently the charges to its customers.
READ ALSO: & nbsp; CERA's strict decision on EAC photovoltaics
Through Odysseus's letter, it is even made clear that with CERA's manipulations and especially with its disagreement to issue new RES licenses in the EAC, favoring private companies – he even names the Bioland group – which, unlike the EAC, have been licensed and participate with significant percentages in the production of photovoltaics, gaining an advantage over the EAC, since they produce at much lower costs than oil costs of the public body.
The whole issue becomes more serious if we take into account that some of the private companies producing energy from photovoltaics sell their production to the EAC, during this period, for 19 cents per kilowatt hour (as well as the cost of production from oil), while their own cost (for investment) does not exceed 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt hour. Only recently, CERA issued a preliminary regulatory decision to pay these RES at 11 cents per kilowatt hour and the decision is in public consultation.
It is also very important that Mr. Michailidis points out to the officials of the regulatory authority that he first maintains the view that CERA does not have the legal power to completely prevent the EAC from developing RES projects.
Control in the EAC
Odysseus's letter shows that the issue of the investigation of a possible obstruction of the EAC by CERA to install photovoltaic parks, in the context of the state's obligations for green transition, environmental protection, oil dependence and cost reduction to consumers, emerged through an audit that the Audit Service wanted to exercise in the EAC for its low penetration in RES. So far, the EAC has only one photovoltaic park (in Cherry), with a capacity of 3 megawatts (it is preparing another one in Akrotiri, for 12 megawatts), in contrast to its private competitors that have gained power of multiple megawatts and will further strengthen their share. the next period. It seems that the EAC responded – in defense – to the Auditor General that its efforts to obtain -through a tender- plots for the installation of photovoltaic parks and corresponding licenses run into the refusal or reluctance of CERA to consent, as the regulatory authority the operation of a competitive market, in the context of which, according to her, individuals should be helped to enter the production (from conventional fuels or from RES) and the supply, since the EAC already maintains a dominant position in the production of electricity.
< p> The Auditor General's main remarks to CERA:
We quote below some of the Auditor General's most caustic remarks in his letter to CERA, which has not been answered currently:
& nbsp; – What is inferred from the above (…) is that there seems to be a delay and an attempt to evade by RAEK to resolve the issue (s.s. of the installation of photovoltaics by the EAC), as RAEK should not want the EAC Production to be active in the field of RES “.
& nbsp; – “Given that the electricity grid in Cyprus is currently isolated and without storage systems, the total available capacity for electricity production from RES is, in fact, limited and, therefore, while the EAC is not allowed to receive a share of this available power, then the EAC will be at a disadvantage in the RES sector, compared to other producers that operate exclusively in RES, which in fact produce electricity at a lower cost. “
& nbsp; – “The situation obviously benefits these producers, who are private companies for the production-supply of electricity and who are left to claim a large and unrivaled share of the electricity market, through RES. Such is the case, for example, of the Bioland group, whose shareholders are a former MP and a former executive of CERA. “
& nbsp; creates short-term obstacles and potentially long-term negative effects on the EAC's RES activity and puts the EAC at a disadvantage compared to other RES producers. “
& nbsp; – “Your refusal to allow the EAC to implement its RES plans (…) causes financial damage to the EAC, which is ultimately passed on to consumers and benefits, in an unacceptable way, private companies” (… ) “And causes delays in the green transition”.
The validity of the EAC and RES
Among other things, the Auditor General Odysseas Michailidis points out to CERA that “its indication that EAC Production currently has a position in the market is a fact, but it concerns the production with conventional fuels and not with RES”. He notes that CERA does not claim that the EAC is abusing its dominant position. Elsewhere, Mr. Michailidis announces that he will notify the letter to the Commission for the Protection of Competition (PSC), with a request to announce whether CERA has the power to prohibit the EAC from operating specifically in the field of energy production from RES.
It should be noted that just last Friday CERA published a preliminary decision, calling on the EAC to implement the licenses it already holds, for a total capacity of about 60 megawatts and does not intend to grant other licenses until strengthen the competitive electricity market. For its part, the EAC argues that several of the old 60-megawatt licenses cannot be implemented, either due to network failure or other technical or bureaucratic reasons known to CERA.