The Energy Department has secured a long-term framework contract to provide continuous scientific support to national authorities on the different socio-economic aspects arising from the implementation of recent policy packages that Cyprus has to implement (e.g., the European Green Deal, the ‘Fit-for-55’ energy and climate policy package, and the REPowerEU initiative). The group is the main scientific advisor for the national authorities on matters of energy policy and maintains and runs the energy system model for the Cypriot system required for the calculations in the National Energy and Climate Plan and has recently authored a hydrogen deployment strategy for Cyprus, both significant distinctions for the whole Centre.
The PROTEAS facility has matured into a testing ground for industrial entities attracted by the technological profile of the facility, as well as the geographical and climatological attributes of that location at an EU country in the EMME region. A novel Forward Osmosis (FO) unit owned by Trevi Systems (a US-based desalination company) and two solar Stirling dishes owned by Concentrating Systems from Czechia now use PROTEAS for testing their systems.
The Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) group has been extremely successful in attracting external funding for its activities and has grown quickly into a reference group on energy in buildings in a very short period. Currently, it is running four projects from competitive funds for about 1M € until 2026, and it has a good publication rate (more than 10 documents per year).
Thanks to the support of several members of the Energy Department, the Limassol municipality has been selected as one of the 100 European Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030. The so-called ‘Climate City Contract’, to be submitted by the end of 2023 and implemented in the following seven years, will be co-prepared by the Municipality of Limassol and EEWRC, which has assumed the role of general scientific adviser to the city authorities and the leadership of the Energy and the Built environment pillars. Furthermore, supported by members of SBE, the City of Limassol was selected as one of the 60 European CrAFt Cities in the actuation of the European New European Bauhaus. In a joint action between SBE, STARC and CyI’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office, the Cyprus Institute is now an Official partner of the New European Bauhaus.
The EEWRC has authored three chapters (stemming from three separate Task Forces) of the recently completed Cyprus Climate Initiative (CCI) report on Energy Systems, the Built Environment, and Water Resources. It has also launched the Hydrodiplomacy Partnership Program for achieving water peace in transboundary basins. The Centre is coordinating the WEFE4MED project (2023-2027), funded by the PRIMA Foundation (Partnership for Research and Innovation for the Mediterranean Area), for the establishment of a Mediterranean WEFE Nexus Community of Practice.
Recent research achievements also include the establishment of a Local Meteoric Water Line (LMWL), a stable isotope orographic line and the groundwater origin, flow path and water-rock processes for the eight main groundwater types of a complete ophiolite sequence of the Troodos fractured aquifer, which will contribute to more effective groundwater exploration and protection in Cyprus. The Department has also developed regulated deficit irrigation and harvest recommendations for olive production, reaching 24-30% water savings, relative to traditional, sustainable deficit irrigation (70% of full irrigation), for extra-virgin olive oil quality, without quantitative yield losses.
The Water Department has developed a community-based approach for the maintenance of dry-stone terraced landscapes in mountain areas and for disseminating the traditional knowledge of drystone wall terracing. The collective effort and coordination of scientists, craftsmen and mountain communities in Cyprus was used as a case-study in a multi-country proposal submitted to UNESCO. As a result, in 2018, UNESCO inscribed the “Art of Dry Stone Walling, Knowledge and Techniques” on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A drystone terrace construction manual has been developed and practical mountain terrace workshops are currently led by a local SME, in the framework of the Department’s RIF-funded 3PRO-TROODOS project.