The LIFE+ SmartPV project has connected around 300 solar panel owners in Cyprus in a decentralized power network, making solar power better value. The Cypriot authorities have extended the payment scheme used for the pilot network to all owners of solar panels in the country, according to a press release from the European Commission.
The LIFE+ SmartPV project has won the LIFE Citizen’s Prize in this year’s competition for LIFE awards, organized by the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action, which co-financed the project.
Remote monitoring and net metering
The project used remote monitoring and net metering to pay consumers for the power they produce.
The SmartPV project investigated pilot net metering schemes for cost-effective PV implementation and a higher grid penetration of distributed generation in Cyprus, with the target of achieving a win-win scenario for both consumers and energy utilities, according to the project’s website.
The project aimed to highlight and understand the impact of smart net metering implementation on consumer billing options, consumption sensitivities, consumer energy-related behavior, and cost and benefit implications for network owners and operators (financial impact).
Objectives: cost optimum scheme, market-driven incentives
When launched, the project had the following main objectives:
- To develop and validate a cost optimum scheme for higher penetration of renewable energy sources in the energy mix of Cyprus;
- To give market-driven incentives to consumers who become local producers (prosumers) thus alleviating any “need” for costly feed-in-tariff (FIT) schemes to be in place;
- To facilitate implementation and have a real contribution to environment policies adopted in Cyprus as set by the EU;
- To use the gained knowledge on optimization of net metering in Cyprus for the development of metering schemes & policies in other EU countries.
The project partners are the University of Cyprus (UCY), as the coordinating partner, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority of Cyprus (CERA), the Ministry of Agriculture Natural Resources and Environment – Environment Department (MANRE), and Deloitte.