Watch the interview with Cyprus Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis
Carry on exploring. This is the main objective of Cyprus, the small island in the eastern Mediterranean that, not being able to only support the development of the Aphrodite field with its domestic consumption, is now focussing on exports. We interviewed Cyprus Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis in Ravenna, on the occasion of the 13th edition of the Offshore Mediterranean Conference, who talked about the island’s future energy plans.
The role of gas is becoming increasingly important as a transition source towards a sustainable energy mix. What is the importance of this resource for Cyprus?
The role of gas is critical for both producers and consumers alike, we believe that the future of energy sees gas as a complementary source to renewables. Gas is the cleanest way of producing energy, for helping businesses take off and in general for generating electricity. Cyprus has recently discovered sizeable offshore natural gas fields and we hope to make new explorations to maximize both domestic consumption and exports.
Might the recent discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean bring increased stability to the area?
Cyprus has promoted and continues to promote energy diplomacy so that the recent discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean might contribute to promoting peace and stability in the region. We can already see that many countries are cooperating with each other, which would have been impossible without the presence of gas, and hopefully oil, in the area of the eastern Mediterranean.
How are relations between Cyprus and Italy in the energy field?
Relations between Italy and Cyprus go very deep, not just because of the traditionally good relations between the two countries, but also because we have entrusted a large part of our specific economic zone to one of Italy’s most important companies: ENI. Indeed ENI has been working with us for many years, and future discoveries will see us working side-by-side towards the development of new areas to explore. ENI is a valuable partner for us and in which we place great faith. A company that technically we would define as better than most. This is demonstrated by their financial strength and not least by the discovery of Zohr, the largest basin of gas in the Mediterranean.
What space do renewables occupy in Cyprus' energy policy?
Our environmental policy is aligned with that of Europe, hence we have our targets to reach and we will continue to pursue our goals thanks also to the presence of gas on the ocean floor. Summing up, I can say that gas and renewable energy are inextricably linked: The more clean energy we generate, the more gas we will have for export.