Cyprus to fund 2,000 PV households via net metering

The program, announced this week following a meeting of the Cypriot Parliament’s economy and commerce committees, will cost around €5 million, which will be paid by Cyprus’ special fund for the development and promotion of renewable energies and energy efficiency.

Installation of the rooftop PV systems will start in 2013, immediately after the Cypriot Parliament approves the fund’s budget.

The eligibility of households to participate in the scheme will be entirely based on income criteria. All of the PV roof installations will be connected to the electricity grid of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) via net metering.

Lefteris Christoforou, head of the commerce committee, told the press that the electricity costs of the 2,000 households participating in the scheme would be about 80% less than current costs after installation of the PV systems.

While the commerce committee actively supports the expansion of the net metering program in the whole of Cyprus in order to provide households with the opportunity to reduce their electricity bills and small businesses to increase their competitiveness, Christoforou said it was unclear when net metering would be available to all interested households and businesses due to technical issues that had yet to be resolved.

The Cypriot government, Christoforou added, is looking to gradually extend the net metering program across the country so that the EAC could better cope with the expansion. Christoforou has asked the government to act quickly in order to add considerably more net metering installations in 2014 and 2015.

Cyprus introduced net metering policies for residential PV systems in April. In May, the University of Cyprus announced it would lead a €1.3 million (US$1.67 million) European research program in net metering funded by the European Union.

The new Cypriot government, elected in February, has expressed plans to boost the troubled local economy by developing renewable energies and investing in the green sector. Introducing net metering policies for residential PV systems in April and funding the rooftop PV installations for 2,000 low-income homes are considered to be the first in a series of steps to promote renewable energy in Cyprus.

Edited by Edgar Meza