The Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Natasa Pilidou characterizes the letter of the Administrators to terminate the Plan for the installation of photovoltaic systems in residences as unacceptable, declaring that the Government does not intend to stop this measure, but to strengthen it.
The joint letter to the Minister of the Transmission System Operator (TSO) and the Distribution System Operator (AEC Distribution), was brought to light by the newspaper “The Phileleftheros”.
In her statement to KYPE, Ms. Pileidou calls on the two administrators instead of sending “threatening” letters that spread panic, to immediately consider these technical solutions and implement them as soon as possible.
“The Department of Energy, Trade and Industry finds unacceptable the Administrators' letter to terminate the Residential Solar Scheme at a time of energy crisis when every consumer should be given the opportunity to install a solar system and reduce costs of electricity”, said Ms. Pilideou in her statement to the KYPE.
She added that the Government not only does not intend to stop this measure which has been in operation for 10 years, since 2013 and which was so embraced by the citizens, but on the contrary will strengthen it.
As the Minister mentions, the measure, in addition to reducing the cost of electricity in homes, vulnerable households and businesses, promotes the green transition, the independence of Cyprus from fuel imports and the purchase of emissions rights and contributes to the achievement of the commitments of the Cyprus of Democracy resulting from the European Green Deal, the Fit-for-55 legislative package and RepowerEU.
He adds that the measure has created the conditions for a significant increase in the penetration of residential photovoltaics.
< p>“Today, more than 31 thousand photovoltaic Net-metering systems are installed in homes with a total capacity of more than 140 MW, which exceeds 20% of the total installed RES capacity in our country,” he said.
He noted. also that with the incentives given by the Ministry from 2013 to 2022, the penetration of residential and commercial solar systems has increased by 1700%.
“Only the applications that have been submitted to us until the end of 2022 for the payment of the sponsorship have doubled, while the applications from vulnerable households, which have increased from this year to 80 thousand with the inclusion of new categories, have almost tripled,” he says .
The Minister expresses the position that there are technical solutions, both temporary and permanent, which can keep the Plan for the installation of photovoltaic systems in force, simultaneously protecting the safety and reliability of the system.
“Consequently, the two Administrators are requested, instead of sending “threatening” letters which sow panic, to immediately consider these technical solutions and implement them as soon as possible”, it states.
Such solutions, he added, they can also include the redistribution of capacity between residential and commercial projects.
“We cannot on the one hand give subsidies to help citizens and vulnerable households and on the other deny the legal right of consumers for PV installation”, concluded the Minister
Need for storage systems and electrical interconnections says DSMK
In addition, in his statements to the Cyprus Transmission System Operator (TSO) Press Representative Brahimis Koutsoloukas told the Cyprus Energy Agency that a letter was sent to the Energy Agency to stop the installation based on the existing plan and that the new applications should be included in the framework of a new plan , with additional requirements regarding the control that will exist in photovoltaics. He added that they are currently at the limit of installing solar based on the current plan, which cannot be exceeded.
He added that more energy could be absorbed from Renewable Energy Sources (RES ) if there were storage systems or if there was electrical interconnection, which is not under the control of the Administrators. Based on European legislation, he added, such a thing must be done by private individuals.
He explained that there is a minimum percentage of total load demand that must be covered by conventional units, which provide some necessary services to the system such as backups that renewables cannot provide. Conventional units have some technical minimum, he added, below which they cannot operate.
He also said that cutting back on plans for solar would be a stopgap solution until systems are available.
Asked whether the opening of the electricity market will help to absorb more photovoltaics in the system, he noted that there will not be much differentiation in terms of the specific problem, however it will give the opportunity to private individuals to install storage systems.
Regarding the opening of the electricity market, Mr. Koutsoloukas said that in December the second trial operation took place and at the moment some additional tests and improvements are being made to the market software to move to the next stage. regarding the opening of the market, he said that a relevant decision from CERA is expected.