January 28, 2023

By Chris Elliott….

Following the publishing of my weekly video review  click here which concentrated on the ongoing disruptions of electricity supplies in Northern Cyprus, I received the following explanation of the various factors involved and gives information as to what could be done perhaps to resolve the issue by using alternative methods of power production and supply.   

Reader’s mail….
From Ismet Ustuner….

For many years the top management at Kibtek have been pressing for new generating capacity but the politicians probably under pressure from Turkey have opted to do nothing. The politicians preferred to have a cable connection from Turkey attached to the water pipeline under the sea.

Prior to the last Presidential election two of the candidates, Tatar and Erhurman took part a TV program on BRT. Erhurman argued that new generators must be ordered as soon as possible because Kibtek did not have the spare generating capacity for peak hot summer days nor for the cold winter days in case of failures.  Tatar objected saying that north should be connected to Turkey by cable. Erhurman retorted that even if the go ahead for the cable was to be given next day it would take at least three years to be in operation. In the meantime power cuts would be inevitable.  I could not believe my ears when I heard the reply from Tatar. “Engineers should look after the generators more carefully so that there would be no failures”. Erhurman was lost for words.

Many years past bye without buying new generators and no action was taken about a cable connection to Turkey. You may ask why? Here is another unbelievable situation. The Turkish grid is connected to EU through Bulgaria and Greece. ENTSO-E is the organisation in EU that oversees all interconnections between countries in EU and all electricity suppliers are members but the Turkish supplier is only an observer with no voting rights. Turkey also gives electricity to parts of Georgia, Syria and Iraq and they are all one way connection whereas the connection with EU is two way i.e. interconnection.

If Turkey decides to have an interconnection with north Cyprus it must have the approval of ENTSO-E but for political reasons Greece and Cyprus objects. If Turkey goes ahead with a two way connection with north Cyprus it risks a loss of  1000-2000 million dollars if EU severs its link with Turkey. Of course if they do this Bulgaria and Greece may go short in electricity. It may be a matter of who blinks first.

Now there is news that at last north Cyprus will be connected by cable to Turkey. There is no clarity about its nature, will it be one way or two way connection? It is very important for north Cyprus for the connection to be two way.

We have plenty of sunshine and we can take advantage of the solar energy. If the grid system is bigger you can have more solar systems connected to it. It’s a matter of stable operation. Funny enough north and south Cyprus grids are interconnected and both sides benefit from this connection in the sense of better stability. If north Cyprus is interconnected to Turkey, theoretically south will be able to sell electricity to Greece too and the south will also benefit from greater stability. Unfortunately, if anything is good for Turkish Cypriots you can bet that the Greek Cypriots will oppose it even if it’s to their benefit too.

This is the mentality we must Have to put up with.

****

Pictures for interest from CyprusScene’s  Turkey trip to Gallipoli

Picture of wind farm and solar panels courtesy of Kibtek website

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