Nicosia Development Agency participated in the on-site peer review offered by the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform for the benefit of the Cyprus Energy Agency on the topic of Fast tracking Renewable Energy Communities (RECs).
The main challenges discussed were:
- How can Local Authorities achieve energy transition and social equality through RECs?
- How is the new regulatory framework for RECs working regarding business models for RECs in DE, AT, BE? (EC Directives transposed).
During the discussions, the PLP was supported by the following peers:
- Marcel Schweitzer, Austrian Energy Agency, Austria
- Benjamin Dannemann, German National Office for Energy Cooperatives, Germany
- Karel Dervaux, Ecopower & RESCOOP, Belgium
- Dimitri Vedel, Bodensee-Stiftung (Lake Constance Foundation), Germany
The main conclusions of the discussions were as follows:
From the outset, the conditions are favourable for the emergence of the first Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) in Cyprus: Cyprus has plenty of RE potential, especially solar; energy prices are rather high.
Cypriort stakeholders are keen to support RECs as means to create added value for the locals and help implement a decentralised and inclusive local energy transition. A focus area for RECs should be rural areas with high percentage of energy poverty. However, RECs are still new to Cyprus, the energy system is dominated by incumbent players and powered up to 95% with fossil fuels. Big insecurity persists about the legal framework conditions for RECs as Cyprus has not yet detailed the regulatory framework for RECs. Perceived barriers also relate to grid capacity, low HR capacity in local authorities, low citizen awareness for RECs and challenging land use rights.