NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Electricity generated from renewable energy sources on Cyprus could eventually make up as much as half of all power conveyed to other countries through an electricity cable linking the east Mediterranean island nation's power grids to Israel and Greece, the Cypriot energy minister said Tuesday.
Natasa Pilides told reporters that renewable sources produced almost 15.2% of Cyprus' electricity last year, nearly 4% more than in 2019. Contributing to that figure was an nearly 3% increase in electricity generated from solar panels from 2020, reaching 9.2% last year.
Pilides said her ministry is consulting with the European Union about increasing the country’s 2030 target for RES-generated electricity from the current 23%.
Construction of the EuroAsia Interconnector cable by the Norwegian subsidiary of French cable manufacturer Nexans is slated to begin before summer. The first phase and it's first phase with a 1,000 megawatt capacity is expected to be completed in 2026.
The cable to Greece and Israel, which will eventually have a 2,000 MW capacity, is touted as the world’s longest and deepest subsea electricity cable, at 1,208 kilometers (750 miles) and 3,000 meters (1.9 miles).
It will cost roughly 1.6 billion euros ($1.56 billion), with the EU providing a little under half of the funding.
Cyprus is the only EU country that isn't linked to the power grid of another member of the 27-nation bloc. Government officials said the construction of the cable would end the country's energy isolation and provide greater security.