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LIFE+ SmartPV - Smart net metering for promotion and cost-efficient grid-integration of PV technology in Cyprus

LIFE12 ENV/CY/000276


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Contact details:

Contact person: George E. Georghiou
Tel: 35722892272
Fax: 35722892260
Email: geg@ucy.ac.cy



Project description:

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 solar power, in the energy mix of many countries. Fossil fuel dependence means that rapidly-increasing global energy demand and consumption comes at a high price for 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 (>2 000kWh/m2) such as Cyprus, the penetration of solar energy in the overall energy mix is still low. Photovoltaic 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 Europes energy supply.


Objectives

The LIFE+ SmartPV project was designed to point the way towards a more economically and environmentally sustainable electricity grid in Cyprus and Europe. This would involve a pilot network of 300 domestic prosumers (consumers and producers at the same time) spread out throughout the island with PV installed on their rooftops and connected via smart meters for remote access. Furthermore, a network of 17 meteorological stations has been deployed in order to be able to predict energy production through the PV systems. Creating and optimising such a decentralised network would make solar power more cost effective and thus increase the share of renewables in the energy market in Cyprus. Consequently, this would be a crucial step towards enabling the country to fully contribute to achieving the EU's climate change mitigation targets for 2030. To avoid costly feed-in-tariffs, the project would offer market-driven incentives to consumers who become local energy producers (prosumers). Knowledge gained in the optimisation of demand side management and dynamic tariffs in Cyprus would be used to develop optimal policies in other EU countries.


Results

LIFE+ SMARTPV successfully established a basis for the rolling out of smart metering and demand-side management in Cyprus. A network of 292 solar power 'prosumers' using smart meters and subject to dynamic tariffs was set up on the island. Between them they reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 800 tonnes over the course of the project. The beneficiary calculated that full roll out of demand side management could cut CO2 emissions by 0.375 tonnes for each MWh produced; with smart net metering this would increase to 0.417 tonnes per MWh produced. The impact would be further enhanced if an energy storage system was integrated into the decentralised network. The metering tool and data from the pilot solar network are being used by decision-makers in Cyprus to support the wider implementation of demand-side management systems. As a result of this LIFE project, the competent authorities have updated the dynamic tariff model and extended it to all owners of solar panels in the country. This is in line with the objectives of a sustainability plan included in the project's after-LIFE plan. The involvement of key competent authorities in the project implementation as associated beneficiaries was important to the success of the project and implies a positive long-term impact. Smart net metering can be replicated in other countries, especially when combined with domestic energy storage measures. The project showed the steps necessary to put similar schemes in place elsewhere, from engagement with power companies and competent authorities, to setting up the relevant tools and training the owners of solar panels on net metering, energy saving practices, and energy management. The University of Cyprus is feeding the results of the SmartPV project into a collaborative study with the European Joint Research Centre that will be used to revise Cyprus's energy policy to increase renewables' share of the mix, in line with EU climate change mitigation goals. Knowledge gained from the project can also be used in the proposed Advanced Metering Infrastructure project, which aims to roll out smart metering across Cyprus. Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report (see "Read more" section).


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Energy - Supply


Keywords

energy supply‚  renewable energy


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator University of Cyprus
Type of organisation University
Description The Solar Energy Technologies Group is part of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Cyprus. Its main function is to conduct research in the area of renewable energy, with an emphasis on solar and PV systems. The group has developed state-of-the-art outdoor and indoor facilities for the evaluation and monitoring of different existing PV technologies, concentrators, and novel technologies, i.e. organic PV, building integrated PV, etc. It focuses on the study of losses under real and standardised conditions, the development of models for these technologies, and the study of PV degradation, reliability and durability.

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Project reference LIFE12 ENV/CY/000276
Duration 01-JUL-2013 to 31-DEC -2017
Total budget 1,219,838.00 €
EU contribution 568,464.00 €
Project location Kypros / Kibris(Cyprus) Extra-Regio(Cyprus) Mediterr. Cyprus (CY)(Cyprus)

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Read more:

Brochure Leaflet (Greek version)
Brochure Leaflet
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan (Greek version)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Article-Paper Newsletter Nr. 1 - March 2014
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Layman report Layman report (Greek version)
Publication: Technical report Deliverable: Dynamic Tariff Model Development: Act ...
Publication: Technical report Initial Environmental Situation Assessment: The En ...
Publication: Technical report Final technical report (Executive summary)
Publication: Technical report Deliverable: Guidelines and policy recommendations ...
Video link Short video describing the Smart PV research project - Σύντομο βίντεο που περιγράφει το ερευνητικό πρόγραμμα Smart PV (Greek version, with English subtitles)(20')

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version