Developments regarding the exploitation of Cypriot natural gas fields, said that the Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry of Cyprus Natasa Pileidou expects soon, given the large increase in natural gas prices that prevail internationally.
In an interview in the KYPE, argued that Cyprus can play a role in Europe's energy supply either through its own natural gas or through the interconnection projects that are being promoted.
Asked whether the developments in Ukraine can accelerate the development of the deposits of Cyprus, Ms. Pileidou said that this is definitely the pursuit and encouragement of companies operating in the Cypriot EEZ.
“We expect the Chevron consortium to come up with specific suggestions for the 'Aphrodite' deposit. “We hope that the right synergies have been found in relation to either Israel or Egypt in order to achieve a more optimistic timetable, given the opportunities that are presented.” He added that they expect to see the developments with “Aphrodite” between the end of March and the beginning of April.
energy supply “, he said.
He added that at the moment the quantities are very limited but other research activities are expected
As he said, by the end of March, the ExxonMobil & # 8211; Qatar Energy will complete the confirmation drilling in block 10 and the results are eagerly awaited which will increase the confirmed deposits that Cyprus has.
At the same time, he noted that the Eni-Total consortium will proceed with drilling within the year, while seismic work will begin on block 5 by ExxonMobil to see if there is an interconnection with block 10 and if there are prospects in that area. He added that the ExxonMobil consortium together with Qatar Energy have already advanced the bidding procedures for the seismic studies.
Asked whether it is concerned about the recent Turkey-Israel rapprochement and whether it considers that it will deprive Cyprus some opportunities in the energy sector, the Minister said that the cooperation of Cyprus with Israel is excellent in various aspects of energy.
He noted that developments with the EuroAsia Interconnector are very optimistic as Cyprus will now be interconnected in terms of energy, which enables the import and export of energy from various sources of electricity.
“Our plans are not thwarted,” he said. , adding that she will have a meeting with her Israeli counterpart on April 11 when she goes to the country, where they will continue the discussion they had in Egypt.
Stating that the neighboring countries have their own cooperation and are doing their own consultation with the various states in the region, he expressed the view that this does not stop or hinder the excellent cooperation that has been built. This, he added, was the spirit in which the meeting between the President of the Republic and the President of Israel during his recent visit to Cyprus took place.
The EU recognizes the importance of its electricity interconnection Cyprus
At the same time, the Minister noted the importance that the EU attaches to the project of electricity interconnection of Cyprus with Europe.
He stated that the implementation of the EuroAsia Interconnector, namely the interconnection between Cyprus and Crete, is progressing rapidly, while the Crete-Attica interconnection is already progressing. The goal, as he said, is the connection with the European market in the first stage, while in the second stage the Cyprus-Israel pipeline will be built. He further said that the EuroAfrica Interconnector will also connect Egypt with Cyprus.
He emphasized that € 657 million had been secured for the electricity interconnection project, which is a huge amount considering that the total amount of this fund was € 800 million.
“So the EU really “He supported Cyprus in this area as it recognizes the importance of the interconnection,” he said.
may be implemented until 2026.
This, he added, means that we will have much greater energy security while there will be the possibility of importing and exporting energy, giving impetus to more RES investments and new technologies, such as offshore photovoltaics, photovoltaics in parallel with agricultural crops, etc. “With these new technologies we can increase our contribution to our own energy supply and exports,” he said.
Expanding and extending measures to address accuracy
Commenting on the economic consequences for Cyprus from the Ukrainian, Ms. Pileidou said that this crisis comes at a time when they expected a fairly dynamic growth after the difficulties that the economy went through due to the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, this crisis will certainly test us and many sectors of the economy will certainly be affected,” he said.
He added that raw materials are affected due to the increase in energy costs worldwide but also due to the shortage that may occur in various products such as cereals.
He referred to the measures taken by the Government utilizing its toolbox. EU, while recalling the reduction of VAT on electricity to 5% for vulnerable consumers and to 9% for other household consumers. The government, he said, will monitor the development of the situation and certainly these measures are likely to be expanded and extended.
Regarding the increase in grain prices, he said that the effort is to buy stocks from the Government itself so that there are no shortages and the possible imposition of a ceiling or a clause in the agreement with the importers who will manage and resell the first this material to producers. Importers, he added, would have to comply with some reasonable prices to ensure that there would be no scandal.
He added that there are other measures in place, such as the replacement of energy-intensive appliances by vulnerable consumers and a number of other plans that have either been announced or will be announced in the coming months.
He also referred to the two major sponsorship plans approved by the Council of Ministers at Wednesday's meeting. in a single announcement, expressing the hope that it will really help reduce energy costs by businesses. The second, he said, concerns a € 9m project for public buildings, communities and municipalities. He reminded that with the opening of the electricity market, energy communities can be created, therefore municipalities and communities will have all the tools to benefit from measures related to energy saving and the use of RES.
At the same time, he stated that they monitor what the EU says and does through its toolbox, presenting the views of Cyprus on short-term and longer-term policies. He added that there is a case of changing the model of the competitive market in order to help more motivated investors in RES.
Regarding the prices at gas stations and whether the Ministry is effectively monitoring the situation, Ms. Pileidou assured that A much more sophisticated price monitoring software system has been implemented by the Ministry and collects much more data from companies.
At the same time, he said, they monitor price fluctuations internationally. He noted, however, that because Cyprus is a small market and imports fuel at specific intervals, ie every two or three weeks, the price that is valid internationally can not be directly compared with the price that is valid in Cyprus.
At the same time, he said that they are monitoring whether there is a scandal and whether there is competition. He called on consumers to use the price observatory to find both the lowest and highest prices, either for fuel or for other products.
Major RES energy storage projects
Noting that Cyprus has exceeded the target for RES by 2020, Ms. Pileidou said that the country remains vigilant, as the targets for 2030 are expected to be revised upwards by the EU.
At the same time, he said that especially in solar energy, Cyprus has made huge strides, since since 2013 the age of energy in Cyprus has increased four and a half times, which is a great achievement since only three other EU countries have managed to increase solar energy more than that Cyprus in the last 10 years. He added that the reason that there is limited use in the energy mix of Cyprus in relation to other countries, is because the country has limited potential in relation to other energy sources such as wind, solar, etc.
He added that technology has become much more efficient and economical in recent years, adding that the ability to store this energy as well as the electrical interconnection will address the problem of losing a large amount of solar energy.
Regarding solar energy storage, he said that Cyprus has already claimed € 80m from the Fair Transition Fund for sponsorship projects and has already submitted to the EU a draft for the first major project to be launched involving large storage systems. A second project involving smaller storage systems in tenders will then be launched. He added that once they have the EU approvals, they intend to announce them in 2022, in order to coexist with the opening of the competitive market.
The arrival of natural gas is important, despite the increase in prices
Asked whether the arrival of natural gas in Cyprus, given the large increase in the price internationally, will eventually reduce the price of electricity in Cyprus, Ms. Peleidou said that the Commission has officially recognized gas as a fuel – a bridge in which will play a role by 2050, so it is a rather optimistic time frame that allows Cyprus to play a role in the EU and abroad.
He also said that the arrival of gas in Cyprus, yes this At the moment it would lead to an increase in prices, however it is an important tool for reducing pollutants and consequently reducing costs. However, he acknowledged that at current prices, even with pollutants, the cost is cheaper than in countries that use natural gas.
He also said that gas will help to open up of the electricity market because it will allow new players to enter the competition much more dynamically. Now in the transitional market, he added, EAC's competitors cover a fairly limited market share as they are entirely dependent on RES.