Andreas Poullikkas, the Chairman of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA), underscores the pivotal significance of electrical interconnections in the global pursuit of climate neutrality.
Poullikkas provides insightful context by tracing the historical trajectory of the electricity industry, highlighting its evolution from isolated systems that posed substantial challenges during crises to the establishment of vital interconnections between neighboring systems, which greatly enhanced reliability and operational resilience.
In the contemporary landscape, these electrical interconnections are executed through high-voltage power cables, enabling the seamless transfer of electricity across international borders. Poullikkas elaborates on their fundamental role in modern power systems, facilitating the secure exchange of electrical energy across interconnected networks. By promoting the shared utilization of essential resources, such as installed capacity and electricity transmission infrastructure, these interconnections offer a multifaceted solution that extends to electricity exchanges between nations, thereby influencing market dynamics and potentially affecting prices.
Central to Poullikkas' insights is the recognition that electrical interconnections align with and reinforce the goals of the European Union (EU), particularly in the context of ambitious targets for enhanced interconnectivity within EU member states and the broader regional landscape. These interconnections emerge as a pivotal enabler of the ongoing energy transition, effectively integrating renewable energy sources and energy storage systems into the grid.
A primary objective of these interconnected systems is to fortify energy security and reliability by enabling the import and exchange of electricity across national boundaries. This strategic approach contributes substantially to the EU's vision of establishing a cohesive and unified electricity market while also facilitating the seamless integration of substantial volumes of renewable energy across member states.
Poullikkas effectively dispels misconceptions surrounding electrical interconnections by affirming that they hold a critical and transformative role in achieving climate neutrality. These interconnections serve as a crucial bridge, bridging the gap between dependable fossil fuel-based power generation and intermittent renewable sources. By allowing the importation of clean and renewable energy precisely when required, these interconnections ensure a consistent and dependable energy supply during the transitional phase towards a renewable-centric energy ecosystem. This dynamic is further reinforced through complementary energy storage systems that enhance grid stability and adaptability.
Beyond their immediate benefits, Poullikkas also underscores how electrical interconnections significantly contribute to reducing the overall cost of energy. By granting consumers access to more affordable electricity from neighboring states, these interconnected systems hold the potential to alleviate financial burdens for end-users.
Poullikkas envisages an even more transformative future with the establishment of a smart supergrid, interconnecting Europe with North African and Middle Eastern countries. This visionary concept aligns harmoniously with the EU's overarching objective of attaining climate neutrality by 2050. The envisioned supergrid holds the potential to facilitate large-scale renewable energy projects across regions with immense potential, such as wind farms in the North Sea and Western Europe, and solar systems spanning Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
In light of these insights, Poullikkas concludes by emphasizing the imperative for Cyprus to actively participate in the proposed smart supergrid initiative. Presently, Cyprus remains the sole EU member state that lacks interconnection with the EU's internal electricity market. Poullikkas underlines that Cyprus's involvement in this ambitious endeavor would position the nation at the forefront of the global energy transition. This proactive stance would not only enhance energy security and environmental sustainability but also deliver cost-effective electricity solutions, ultimately benefiting the citizens of Cyprus and contributing to the broader mission of achieving climate neutrality.
By fLEXI tEAM