Cyprus' energy policy is aligned with the EU energy strategy and is formulated by the Energy Service of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, with key aspects being the Security of Energy Supply, Competitiveness and the Protection of the Environment.
The Energy Service implements, inter alia, the energy policy through the monitoring and coordination of the supply and distribution of adequate quantities of energy at the lowest possible cost to meet domestic demand, the promotion of programs for the rational use of energy and the exploitation of the indigenous renewable energy sources. The Energy Service also coordinates the establishment of Vasilikos Oil Terminal (VOT) while it takes measures to restrict industrial pollution through the installation of control systems. It is also responsible for harmonizing energy national legislation with that of the European Union. The Energy Service is also responsible for implementing relevant policies regarding the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.
Hydrocarbon Explorations in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus
Aiming to strengthen the security of energy supply, enhance the country's energy self-sufficiency as well as to enforce the geostrategic role of the island, the Republic of Cyprus undertook systematic actions in the recent years towards the exploration, evaluation and exploitation of the potential fossil fuel resources, which are located within its Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, in collaboration with Norwegian company PGS, undertook in the period 2006-2009 a series of seismic surveys, acquiring a total of 19,000 line km of 2D data and 659 sq. km of 3D data offshore Cyprus.
In the framework of the 1st Licensing Round, which was held in 2007, an Exploration Licence was granted in October 2008 for exploration block 12 to the Houston Texas based company Noble Energy International Ltd.
In the second half of the year 2011, Noble Energy International Ltd drilled the first exploratory well block 12 and on the 28th of December 2011 a natural gas discovery was announced. The discovery well was drilled to a depth of 5.861 meters in water depth of about 1.689 meters. Results from drilling and initial evaluation work indicate an estimated gross mean of 7 Trillion Cubic Feet.
Vasilikos Oil Terminal (VOT)
Considering the obligations of Cyprus to maintain strategic stocks of oil products for 90 days and the need for relocation of the oil import and storage facilities currently operating in Larnaca, for environmental reasons, the Government decided to establish an oil import and storage terminal at Vasilikos area. This terminal will comprise of operational and strategic oil stocks storage facilities, as well as facilities to operate as a transit hub for the trading of oil products.
Renewable Energy Sources
The Directive 2009/28/EC for the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources sets for Cyprus national mandatory target 13% contribution from renewable energy sources (RES) in the final energy consumption by 2020. Additional to the above target, at least 10% of the final consumption of energy in transport in each Member State must be derived from renewable energy sources by 2020.
The promotion of renewable energy sources is one of the main priorities of the Cyprus Government. One of the most important measures for the promotion of RES Projects is the implementation of Financial Support Schemes. From February 2004 until December 2011, the total amount given as governmental grant or/and subsidy to more than 46100 beneficiaries, was approximately €79.3million.
In view of the above it is obvious that the policies and measures taken by the Government for the promotion of RES were effective, since the indicative trajectories for the period 2011-2012 have been surpassed. Specifically, based on the methodology of calculation of the Directive 2009/28/EC, the Republic of Cyprus with a share of 5,85% RES in gross final energy consumption in 2010 has exceeded the indicative trajectory for the period 2011-2012 which was set at 4.92% and is very close to achieving the trajectory for the period 2013-2014. Moreover, with a share of RES 2% in gross consumption of transport for 2010, the Republic of Cyprus has almost achieved the indicative target of 2, 2% share of RES, while the share of RES in gross electricity consumption in 2010 was 1.4%.
Energy Efficiency/ Energy Efficiency in Buildings
The Energy Efficiency Sector is responsible for the implementation of Directive 2010/30/EU for the labeling of the energy related products, the implementation of Directive 2004/08/EU concerning Combined Heat and Power generation and the implementation of Directive 2006/32/EU for energy end-use efficiency and energy services. The sector has also the responsibility for the implementation of European Regulation 1222/2009 (concerning the energy labeling of tires) and the European Regulation 756/2008 (concerning the energy Star labeling). Furthermore, the Energy sector has the responsibility of drafting energy efficiency national action plans as well as of monitoring national targets for energy efficiency. Moreover, the sector prepares a series of educational programs for energy and energy saving actions, for schools, public buildings and other sectors. To support investments in energy efficiency, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism operates Grant Schemes for energy Efficiency for Individuals and Legal Entities. More information is available at www.mcit.gov.cy , www.cie.org.cy .
Applied Energy Centre
The Applied Energy Laboratory (www.aelab.gov.cy) specializes in testing solar thermal systems and components according to EN12975 and EN12976 standards. The laboratory is accredited according to EN17025 standard and provides services of high quality to Cypriot and foreign solar thermal industries. The laboratory is aiming at increasing the contribution of RES in Cyprus' energy balance by optimizing the solar thermal systems.
Monitoring the Quality of Petroleum Products and Fuels
The main priorities of the sector are the control of the quality of petroleum products and fuels that are available in the Cyprus market, monitoring the retail prices of the petroleum products and informing the E.U., the implementation of the E.U. policy for bio fuels and the further promotion of their use in Cyprus, the co-ordination of actions for the maintenance of national oil stocks and taking the necessary measures in order to face a supply disruption of conventional forms of energy in Cyprus, and the preparation of the energy balance of the country.
To comply with our commitment to the EU, the proportion of the liberalized electricity market of the island, has increased from 35% to 65% by 1/1/2009 so eligible consumers (those who can choose their supplier), are all non-domestic consumers. In the second stage, which starts from 1/1/2014, the market of electricity in Cyprus will be fully liberalized. The main objective of the liberalization is to provide competitive prices and improved services to all electricity consumers.
Industry and the Environment
The sector "Industry and Environment" of the Energy Service of the MCIT, aims in the development of the industry while protecting at the same time the environment, within the framework of the modern concepts of sustainable economic and industrial development. The matters dealt with by this sector include, inter alia, the EU Directive for the Ecodesign of energy related products and the regulation of waste management of the marinas. In general the sector follows issues related to industrial pollution and environmental protection.