It will increase to €2 million
The budget of the new project to replace or install solar water heating systems in existing homes will be increased to €2 million, which will be announced for 2023, as stated by the Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry, Giorgos Papanastasiou.
In his address to the Annual General and Electoral Assembly of the Cyprus Solar Energy Industrialists' Union, Mr. Papanastasiou said that the announcement of the plan, which is in the process of public consultation, is estimated to take place within the next month and will be financed through the National Plan of Recovery and Resilience, under the axis “Rapid Transition to a Green Economy”.
Analyzing the most important changes of the new plan, Mr. Papanastasiou said that there will be an increase in the budget of the Sponsorship Plan to €2 million from €950,000 which was in 2022, with a parallel increase of the homes that can benefit to 3,000 from 1,800, while there will be an increase in the amount of sponsorship given per beneficiary.
As he said, a special category of vulnerable consumers will be created with increased sponsorship, as is the case in the other Sponsorship Plans related to the promotion of RES and energy saving measures, while the implementation and application process will be modified, which will be significantly simplified in relation to it which was applied in previous years.
Finally, the process will be completely digitized, with the abolition of the submission of manual certificates issued by the installers and their replacement by direct entry of the data into the electronic system.
Mr. Papanastasiou also indicated that the Ministry recognizes the valuable contribution of the sector to the achievement of the energy and climate goals of the Republic and for this purpose has been implementing since 2008, through the Fund for Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Saving, Sponsorship Plans for replacement or installation solar water heating systems in existing homes.
Additionally, he noted that the installation of solar systems for water heating is recognized as an eligible cost and is subsidized by the Ministry and within the framework of the “Save – Upgrade” Plans for homes and businesses.
Mr. Papanastasiou said that the sector of solar heating is expected to contribute the most to the realization of the goals, not only of Europe, but also internationally, towards a green economy, fully decarbonized.
He noted in this regard that the World Energy Organization has predicted that solar heat will meet 11% of the heat demand of global industry by 2050. At the same time, 1.2 billion homes will have solar water heating systems installed, compared to 250 million homes with installed photovoltaics.
However, recalling that the first use of RES in Cyprus began in the 1930s with the use of windmills for the purpose of pumping irrigation water by farmers, while the second recorded use was in 1960 with the use of solar systems for hot water, the Minister of Trade said that Cyprus continues to be one of the pioneers internationally in the field of the use of solar energy for water heating purposes, while according to the European Solar Heating Association (ESTIF), in 2022 our country was again in first place within the European Union, in in relation to the installed surface of the collector per inhabitant.
Furthermore, Mr. Papanastasiou assured that the Government will continue to practically support the competitiveness and sustainable development of the economy in the midst of the ongoing uncertainty created by the war in Ukraine .
Underlining the importance of cooperation between the public sector, Mr. Papanastasiou concluded by stressing “only in this way will we be able to make the most of the opportunities offered by technological upgrading, digitization, circularity and green energy, precisely with the aim of upgrading our industry and creating new innovative products and services, as well as new jobs”.