The Importance of Natural Gas in the Cypriot Energy Strategy between 2021-2030: Domestic and International Parameters
Dr. Tsakiris

Natural gas will be introduced in 2022 to the Cypriot energy mix not through the monetization of the country’s notable gas discoveries but through Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports. This has constituted a major policy shift for the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) whose long-term impact on both the domestic energy system of the country and its gas export strategy has not been thoroughly analyzed. Will this shift be detrimental for the efforts of RoC to emerge as a major regional gas exporter to the EU? How will it affect the entirety of the country’s energy strategy to 2030? Most articles do not assess the impact of that important policy shift on the country’s gas export strategy and the resilience of its energy system. This article follows a holistic approach that explains the cross-sectoral impact of natural gas introduction in the Cypriot energy mix to 2030 including the RoC export plans. The paper argues that natural gas will help to reduce the country’s electricity generation cost and its Green House Gas Emissions (GHGE), while enabling the rapid expansion of its vast solar power potential allowing renewable electricity to double or even triple as a share of installed generation capacity by 2030, regardless of whether or when will the island state be interconnected with the electricity systems of its neighboring countries. Despite rising political tensions with Turkey, the Cypriot exploration program will carry on over the next two years in those parts of the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) where it matters most from a commercial point of view. The results of these exploration efforts will allow for a more accurate estimate of Cypriot net export capacity that could lead to a major revision of the country’s existing gas export strategy that calls for the independent development of Aphrodite gas field and the exportation of its entire production to Egyptian LNG facilities via an underwater gas pipeline.

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