Cyprus aims for 60,000 residential net metering installations by 2016

Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis presented on Friday Cyprus’ solar energy plans. ‘The main priority of the government’s policies, Lakkotrypis said, ‘is to reduce the cost of electricity, and both solar PV parks and net metering installations are a step towards this direction.’

‘Our goal is within the next three years to permit around 50,000 to 60,000 households to install net metering solar projects, and we are also examining ways to promote meet metering in the business sector too,’ Lakkotrypis added.

Applications for all different categories of the Cypriot net metering program are now open, and the Cypriot Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA), which manages the net metering application procedure, has already started processing applications. At the moment, net metering categories regard capacity of 15 MW for household installations, of which the first 6 MW (or 2,000 installations) will be funded by the Cypriot government at €900 per installed kW; 10 MW for commercial and industrial buildings; and 0.2 MW for installations in municipal buildings.

Since household applications for solar PV do not require planning permission, net metering projects can start building immediately after application approval, and some of the above projects are already being installed.

The government, Lakkotrypis said, is also examining ways to cooperate with Cypriot banks to ensure that capital shortages due to the recent financial crisis do not prevent banks from providing Cypriot households with green loans.

‘We are very much concerned that households not included in the net metering funding program may struggle to allocate funds to develop solar projects,’ Lakkotrypis said during the press conference.

Net metering investment paid back within first four years

Kypros Kyprianides, CERA’s representative at the press conference, said, ‘within the next three years, Cyprus is going to save via the net metering program about €40 million spent in fossil fuels.’ Estimates also show that ‘households installing solar PV net metering will have their initial investment paid back within the first four to four and a half years, and will then start paying only for 10% of their current electricity bill,’ he added.

Cyprus’ installed solar PV capacity has reached 25 MW and this figure is expected to grow fivefold within two years as a result of the government’s efforts to restart the country’s troubled economy through development of the green sector.