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Minister of Energy: The highest priority is the reduction of electricity costs

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Υπουργς Ενρ&gamma ;ειας: Ύψιστη προτεραιότητα η με ωση κoστους ηλεκτρισμοy

The government has made it one of its highest priorities to reduce the cost of electricity for households and businesses, while working at the same time to strengthen Cyprus' energy supply security, to facilitate and accelerate its energy transition and to contribute to Europe's efforts for a diversification of energy sources and routes, stressed the Minister of Energy, Giorgos Papanastasiou.

Mr. Papanastasiou, who was speaking at the 5th Cyprus Talks Green Conference organized today by the Sustainable Energy Laboratory of TEPAK and Ideopsis Ltd, said that in this context, the Ministry of Energy together with other competent Ministries and state and private entities is in the process review of policies for 2030 and 2050, including the Cyprus National Energy and Climate Plan, taking into account the new geopolitical situation in the region and the uniqueness of Cyprus as an island country.

He also referred to goal of developing a national Strategy for Hydrogen, in order to introduce it into the energy mix of Cyprus, noting that based on the relevant study carried out, with the support of the European Commission, the external consultants have presented two preliminary scenarios in relation to the use of hydrogen by 2030 and 2050.

Mr. Papanastasiou said that the “conservative” scenario predicts almost no penetration of hydrogen until 2030, while in the “aggressive” scenario, which requires both strong investments in infrastructure and rapid technological progress, the use of hydrogen can grow in the following sectors: cement, brick and tile industry after 2030, trucks and buses, and shipping and aviation, covering a small part of fuel demand by 2030 and most fuel demand by 2050, under form of hydrogen derivatives – most likely ammonia for shipping and e-kerosene for aircraft.

He also stated that the study identified gaps in the regulations for the promotion of hydrogen products in Cyprus, including a in the licensing of renewable hydrogen projects.

He said that to address this, they are now working to create procedures that will enable this licensing through a one stop shop for renewable energy projects, which will operate under the Ministry's Corporate Facilitation Unit.

Mr. Papanastasiou noted, moreover, that there is a technical committee chaired by the Energy Agency with the mission of promoting measures for the use of hydrogen in Cyprus. He said that part of this work, which will be completed in the next few months, is about defining and reviewing the exact role that hydrogen can play in the Cypriot market, across all sectors.

“When we have the right data, we are confident that we will be in a much better position to quickly move forward with our plans to introduce hydrogen into the island's energy mix”, he pointed out.

He also said that “we have has already been approached by various companies with proposals for pilot projects for the production of hydrogen from renewable sources and in particular solar energy, which are currently under evaluation”.

Mr. Papanastasiou also noted that “we are actively working to promote mutually beneficial cooperation with the EU and neighboring countries in the production and use of hydrogen”, while he also referred to the decision taken with Israel to start a technocratic dialogue between the two countries for hydrogen interconnections .

In her greeting, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cyprus, Elke Merks-Schaapveld, referring to the issue of hydrogen production and distribution, pointed out that the Netherlands has helped in the preparation of the Cypriot national strategy.

She also said, among other things, that “we greatly appreciate the fact that the energy community of Cyprus and the wider Cypriot society look to the Netherlands and are interested in further developing the relationship between the two countries to share knowledge and technology”.

Also expressed her country's readiness to Mr. Papanastasiou and the Cypriot government to continue building this relationship.

She also said that since there is no Plan B for the planet it is time to start uniting forces, to pool our resources and find joint solutions in the effort to mitigate climate change and expressed great satisfaction that today's conference brought together Cypriot, Israeli, Egyptian and Dutch representatives, with the hope that the results of the discussions will further strengthen the efforts for zero emission energy production and distribution.

Source: 24h.com.cy

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