One of a cluster of five brand new solar plants, financed by the EBRD, was inaugurated in May in Cyprus, on the fringes of the EBRD Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors.
During an official ceremony, a 1.5 MW solar power plant in Nisou sent its first electricity into the national grid in the presence of the Minister of Energy and Commerce, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and EBRD Managing Director for Energy and National Resources, Nandita Parshad.
Nandita Parshad said: “This ceremony demonstrates the Bank’s leadership in enabling and financing renewable projects. These five solar plants, including this one which has just come on-stream, are important not only because of more clean energy and fewer emissions in Cyprus, but they also demonstrate the energy revolution going on worldwide, and which the EBRD is deeply committed to support. Only in recent months, the EBRD has earmarked half a billion euros under simplified renewable energy financing schemes in Greece and Kazakhstan.”
Georgios Lakkotrypis, Minister of Energy Commerce, Industry and Tourism, added: “Aiming to strengthen our country’s security of energy supply and enhance its energy self-sufficiency, we have been working hard to accelerate the deployment of renewables on the island and to create a competitive electricity market. These five solar plans are a tangible example of best private and public sector cooperation, and will certainly contribute in our efforts to increase the country’s solar generation capacity, achieve our renewable energy targets and promote an energy transition to decarbonisation, by expanding the deployment of clean energy.”
The solar power generator was built jointly by CYPV Energy Ltd, who have in total built three EBRD-financed solar generators, including a 1.5 MW plant in Dhali and a 4.4 MW plant in Frenaros, Cyprus’s largest to date.
Mr Dimitri Morozov from CYPV Holdings Ltd said: “These solar energy projects are a result of excellent cooperation between all parties. All stakeholders, including investors, financiers, the government and the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, are committed to embracing renewable energy as part of the future energy mix. We are already working on new solar capacity. We hope that the success of these projects will be another step towards energy security and a competitive electricity market in Cyprus.”
Two other solar plants, financed by the EBRD under the same project, were built jointly by Cyprus-based Athinodorou & Poullas Investments & Properties Ltd, a part of Athinodorou Group and T.P. Timotheou Holdings Ltd.
In total, the EBRD loans of €10.85 million financed five solar plants for a total installed capacity of 11.9 MW in the Famagusta and Nicosia districts of Cyprus. The five plants will produce more than 21.420 megawatt-hours per year of clean energy, saving over 15.470 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. They will increase existing photovoltaic capacity in Cyprus by 12%, bringing the total of renewables in the country’s energy mix to about 9% and contributing to its Paris climate talks (COP21) commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared with the 1990 level. Cyprus is a country with high solar potential, but it remains dependent on fossil fuel imports.
The solar projects are the first to be structured on a non-recourse financing basis. Such a structure will make the sector more attractive to both local and foreign companies.
Sustainable energy is one of the EBRD’s strategic priorities in Cyprus, and a big focus for the Bank overall. The EBRD is the largest financier of renewable energy in its region of operations, and has committed to invest up to 40% of its annual business volume into sustainable energy investments by 2020 under its Green Economy Transition approach (the share of green projects has reached over a third of total EBRD investment in the last two years).
To date, the Bank has invested approximately €5 billion in renewable energy, both directly and in cooperation with commercial banks in its countries of operations.