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Smart net metering for promotion and cost-efficient grid-integration of PV technology in Cyprus (LIFE+ SmartPV)
Start date: Jul 1, 2013, End date: Dec 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background Two interrelated and universal problems and challenges remain for those involved in energy production. The first concerns the excessive and unsustainable use of conventional fossil fuels, and the second is the low penetration of clean, sustainable energy sources, in particular PV, in the energy mix of many countries. The rapidly increasing global energy demand and consumption comes at a high price for the environment. The resulting emission of greenhouse gases, other atmospheric pollutants, and water contamination have a highly damaging impact on the climate, biodiversity, natural habitats and human health. While more sustainable means of energy generation must be found, these must not hamper economic growth and development, or impact negatively on the quality of life. The potential of solar energy has not yet been fully exploited. Even in countries with high solar insolation (>2000kWh/m2) such as Cyprus, the penetration of solar energy in the overall energy mix is still low. PV technology can, however, play a crucial role in helping to achieve ambitious targets for increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix in Europe, as well as improving the security of Europe’s energy supply. Objectives The LIFE+ SmartPV project aims to point the way towards a more economically and environmentally sustainable electricity grid in Cyprus and Europe. Specific objectives are to: Develop and validate a cost-effective scheme for higher RES penetration in the energy mix of Cyprus. The aim is to achieve optimisation of PV grid connection using innovative net-metering and remote monitoring systems at 300 pilot sites in Cyprus; Offer market-driven incentives to consumers who become local energy producers (‘prosumers’), thus alleviating the need for costly Feed-in-tariff (FIT) schemes. The aim is to increase the share of decentralised PV energy production in Cyprus, which is vital for achieving a diverse energy mix; Facilitate the implementation in Cyprus of EU environment policies; Use the knowledge gained in the optimisation of net metering in Cyprus to develop metering schemes and policies in other EU countries. Expected results: A metering tool validated and optimised using the data from the pilot sites. The tool will be made available to authorities/utilities in Cyprus and the EU for optimising grid operation methods; 300 pilot net-metering installations with remote data access, which will provide long-term data for monitoring production, consumption, and environmental conditions, as well as serving as focal points for promotional campaigns, and for demonstrating the benefits of RES; An estimated reduction of about 1kg of CO2 per KWh of produced energy from the pilot sites, compared to traditional diesel generators used in the Cypriot grid. For 300 prosumers (about 10kWp installed per prosumer on average), the annual energy gain will be around 5GWh, with a reduction in CO2 emissions of about 5000 tonnes per year; A set of guidelines on optimal net-metering policies in Cyprus distributed to public authorities, utilities and policy makers; Training of 300 consumers on net metering, energy saving practices, and energy management; A transnational collaborative network of actors in the energy sector, which will facilitate an ongoing exchange of information on the performance of strategies to increase the share of PV electricity, as well as on the use of AMI and system automation for the efficient use of energy in buildings.

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