On the back of a serious financial crisis, Cyprus has decided to boost its photovoltaic development. New measures include: the large-scale application of net metering in residential systems (low income households will be given priority); the introduction of a new plan, which permits industrial and big commercial consumers to develop their own PV generation units; and a speeding up of the licensing procedure for the PV projects approved via a tender in January.
The new measures, CERA says, aim to reduce electricity prices for the households where net metering is applied, via fuel saving and carbon dioxide reduction. Jobs in the design and construction of the PV projects are also expected to be created.
The decision, CERA continues, has been taken in order to protect electricity consumers by helping mitigate the severe effects of the economic crisis. Ensuring reliability and security of the electricity system was also taken into account, it adds.
Cyprus introduced net metering as pilot program more than six months ago. The program concerns selected governmental buildings and a few communities only. Its goal was to gain significant experience and knowledge on how to run the electricity grid using net metering.
A debate in the Cypriot Parliament in October 2012 concluded that the mechanism is vital, in order to reduce fuel poverty and promote economic development in the small country. However, the recent economic crisis seems to have triggered large-scale application of the mechanism as a way to boost economic activity.
Net metering has been successfully applied in countries including Belgium, Denmark and Italy. In Italy, many photovoltaic associations recently asked the Government to allow the application of net metering for systems larger than 200 kW. In particular, Italian PV associations Gifi, Assosolare and Aper suggest that applying net metering to systems up to 1 MW would boost PV development in harsh times.
UN’s Cyprus PV system
In other news, the United Nations’ Development Program (UNDP) in Cyprus installed a 15 KW photovoltaic system at its offices. The park cost US$ 30,000 and is now connected to the grid.
Edited by Becky Beetz.