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Photovoltaic panels. What is it? What are their advantages?

Photovoltaic panels, also known as solar panels or photovoltaic (PV) panels, are devices that convert solar energy directly into electrical energy through the photovoltaic conversion effect. They are made up of semiconductor materials, usually silicon, that are capable of capturing photons (light particles) from solar radiation and releasing electrons, creating a flow of electrical current.

Through solar panels, you can connect the whole house or apartment, do not spend paid electricity for air conditioning or heating at home, cooking, washing dishes or streaking.

You can even charge electric vehicles or hybrids using only solar energy.

Advantages of photovoltaic panels:

Low maintenance costs: Once the solar panels are installed, maintenance and operation costs are minimal. Solar panels have a long lifespan and require little maintenance.

Lower Electricity Bills: Using solar panels reduces or eliminates dependence on commercial power grids, reducing monthly electricity bills.

Increase Property Value: Installing solar panels on the roof or in the vicinity of a building can increase its value and appeal to buyers.

Environmentally friendly: Solar power generation produces no greenhouse gases, smoke or other harmful emissions, helping to reduce environmental pollution.

What to consider when installing solar panels.

The performance of a solar battery depends on:

  • panel area
  • the intensity of sunlight
  • the angle of incidence of sunlight
  • terrain
  • the geographical latitude of the location of the house
  • weather
  • seasons
  • time of the day

How it works?

Types and criteria for installing panels:

• You can choose from three solar panel systems: 10 x 300W, 12 x 250W or 24 x 130W. Regardless of the system you choose, you will get power generation and save money.

• To install a rooftop photovoltaic system, you will need an area of ​​20 m² to 60 m². If you have a flat roof, you will need between 40 m² and 100 m², depending on the system chosen.

• To install the system, you will need solar panels, fasteners and an inverter.

What is net-metering in Cyprus?

Net-metering is a billing mechanism whereby consumers who produce electricity in their residential premises using a photovoltaic system can export the surplus to the electricity grid in Cyprus and use it to offset the electricity imported from the grid into the premises in during the applicable billing period.

If consumption exceeds production, then the consumer pays the difference, otherwise the surplus of production is transferred for use in the next (upcoming) two-month billing period.

The final settlement will be indicated in the last invoice of the financial year (February-March).

Any surplus cannot be carried over to the next billing year.

In the case of private consumers, meters can include data on the consumption of electricity by storage heaters, if required.

The maximum power allowed per recipient under the Cypriot government scheme is 10 kW.

A private owner is eligible to apply for net-metering for any residential or commercial building.

In cases where the proposed installation site is shared (eg apartments), all owners must declare that they agree to the installation.

How to get permission to install a net-metering system in Cyprus?

Applications should be submitted to the Cyprus Electricity Company EAC, which is the distribution system operator.

When applying, the applicant must pay a meter replacement fee of EUR 250 + VAT. The meter will be replaced by a new bi-directional metering meter to record the energy produced by the photovoltaic (PV) system that is exported to the grid, as well as the indoor energy consumption that is imported from the grid.

The EAC will issue its approval/authorization or its reasoned denial of the application within seven (7) business days. In case of rejection of the application, only EUR 200 + VAT from the amount paid for the replacement of the meter is returned to the applicant within twenty working days from the date of rejection. The retained amount of fifty euros (50 euros) reflects EAC’s administrative costs for processing the application.

Once a photovoltaic (PV) system has been installed, an application must be submitted to the EAC to inspect and connect the system to the public grid. EAC is responsible for scheduling verification and connection within a period of time not exceeding 25 working days from the date of application for connection.

Applicants must complete the installation, verification, and grid connection of the photovoltaic (PV) system within 60 business days. If the installation, verification and connection of the photovoltaic (PV) system to the power grid is not completed within the prescribed 60-day period, the permit obtained will become invalid.

The cost of the net-metering system in Cyprus.

The potential producer/consumer, when submitting the application, pays a lump sum of EUR 250 + VAT, which is the cost of administering the EAC application, the cost of replacing the meter and the cost of checking and connecting the distribution system.

The producer/consumer pays the Supplier an annual fee of EUR 47.23 + VAT per kWh to compensate for the delay/delay in the production and consumption of electricity in the house. These fees are paid by the producer/consumer in six equal installments and are included in the supplier’s invoice, i.e. EUR 7.87 + VAT per kWh of photovoltaic system. This fee is subject to change in the future in accordance with the rules and regulations published by the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA).

Based on the expected economic return of a photovoltaic (PV) system, the payback period for the initial investment is estimated at 5-6 years.

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