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Circular Economy Should Be Considered on Future Planning by Ahmet Fatih Irkli

Insular areas such as islands and remote regions tend to face many challenges such as insufficient power generation. Northern Cyprus (NC) is located on one of these insular islands with 71km distance to the closest mainland. The nation's power generation heavily rely on fuel oil generators within the thermal and diesel power plants. In the last quarter of 2020 (Q4/2020), the total installed power generation is 404 MW and 71.3MW of this generation comes from solar farms mainly owned by the private sector. While the European Commission target is to achieve 20% renewable generation by 2020, Northern Cyprus only achieved 10% renewable generation in a year (Q4/2021) after finishing ongoing renewable installations worth 60MW.

Northern Cyprus faces power cuts frequently due to insufficient energy supply. Along with the low energy supply problem, electrical network reliability is another problem for the island. Advancing technology, increasing renewable connections, increasing building construction demand by growing local population and tourism sector brings network reliance need. Also, electric vehicles become widespread on NC causing electrification increase. Therefore, NC must invest more to increase network reliance. There are plans and ongoing projects on that matter such as interconnection between NC and Turkey, NC and EU, increasing installed capacity by switching from fuel oil to liquid natural gas (LNG), taking measurements for increasing energy efficiency, implementation of energy storage applications parallel to renewable investments, diversifying renewable/less carbon-emitting generation such as biomass and biogas. Besides the energy supply problem, NC electricity network has a significant transmission and distribution loss.


Solar water heating systems are commonly used in residences and businesses of NC. However, as a Mediterranean country with high annual temperature conditions, air-conditioning systems rely on electricity which increases the load on the power network. Therefore, besides water heating systems, heat pumps would be a good eco-efficient option for air-conditioning in both residential and business sectors. Thus, while de-stressing power system of NC, energy supply would become more diversified and less carbon-emitting.


All these developments bring a requirement for energy policy management model for Northern Cyprus which regulates these field by both technically and juridically. In line with all these developments, the circular economy principles should be considered while taking those actions to increase NC’s self-sufficiency and eco-friendliness. Such as, planned storage investments should be designed by considering end-of-life of batteries. In this direction, reduce, recycling and re-use must be implemented to help conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy.


References:

International Energy Agency, IEA 2019 Report

Northern Cyprus Chamber of Electrical Engineers

Cyprus Turkish Electricity Authority

Northern Cyprus Renewable Energy Sources Board

Online News: Cyprus Newspaper, Cyprus Post

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