ECONOMY

Cyprus RES permits in autumn

NICOSIA – Cyprus expects to grant licenses for renewable power generation in the autumn in an attempt to meet European Union commitments on switching to cleaner energy, its resources minister said. Photis Photiou, the agriculture and natural resources minister, also said that authorities on the east Mediterranean island would also look at making it compulsory that «clean» energy be used in public projects. «By the end of August or the beginning of September, the ministerial committee will meet to grant the final licenses so that we can meet the six percent quota of renewable energy in total power generation,» Photiou told Reuters. Renewables now represent 0.3 percent of Cyprus’s total energy generation drawn mainly from solar energy, which the island has in abundance. It wants to build the level up to 6 percent by 2010. This week the European Commission cut Cyprus’s carbon dioxide allowance by 23 percent to 5.48 million tons per year between 2008 and 2012. Cyprus now relies on fuel to fire its power stations, and has said the onus is on heavy industry to cut down on their emissions in the light of the EU cutting its CO2 allowance. Authorities planned to contact affected industry which includes the state-controlled electricity utility EAC, cement and brick works as well as operators of desalination plants, Photiou said. «We must encourage power production with renewable energy sources,» said Photiou. Protests from local communities had so far prevented the development of wind farms, he added.