FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy, University of Cyprus

With the Project:
Smart Net Metering for Promotion and cost-efficient Grid Integration of Photovoltaic Technology

This is a pioneering research project which focused on optimising household electricity consumption via smart net-metering and application of dynamic electricity tariffs. The project aims to increase the penetration of solar energy in order to combat climate change, not by installing big solar farms but by empowering the citizens to become active producers of renewable energy and smart consumers. It involved a pilot network of 300 domestic prosumers spread throughout the island with photovoltaic systems installed on their rooftops and connected via smart meters under a price-based demand side management scheme.


The potential of solar energy has not yet been fully exploited. Even in countries with high solar insolation such as Cyprus, the penetration of solar energy in the overall energy mix is still low. Photovoltaic technology can play a crucial role in helping to achieve ambitious targets for increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix in Europe. However, as more renewable energy is added to the grid and demand remains unchanged, the potential of oversupply increases.


The aim of the project was to create incentives for prosumers in order to alter their energy behaviour. This was done by reducing their electricity consumption during peak electricity demand hours and match the consumption with production, thus fully utilising solar energy by increasing photovoltaic integration while maintaining grid stability. In order to integrate the distributed local renewables and provide advanced local energy management acting on both consumption and production, the project introduced the concept of price-based demand side management in the form of Time of Use (ToU).


In contemplation of this work, 300 prosumers in Cyprus have been selected, in the prospect of moving from the prevailing flat tariff to a pilot ToU tariff scheme. All participating prosumers were geographically spread throughout Cyprus to cover different socio-geographical situations, with 2/3 of prosumers residing in urban areas and 1/3 in rural areas. The Smart PV foresees the development of a new data collection system for use at the point of generation through in-house displays to provide key performance metrics in order to induce a behaviour change in consumption.


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