Most single-family homes in North Cyprus have solar hot water. These units almost always consist of two panels and a hot-water tank. A small pump hooked to a timer inside the house circulates the water through the panels. There are other set-ups but this is the most common.
During the Winter, it can be nine or even ten in the morning before the water is hot. The hot water tank is also equipped with an electric heating element making it the equivalent of a normal hot-water heater (boiler). While there is almost always plenty of hot water, these heating elements can come in handy when it is overcast several days in a row. This can happen in January and February. There is normally a switch on a wall near the breaker panel that controls the unit on the roof.
On average, there are around 320 sunny days a year in Cyprus. Most of these days pass without a single cloud. In the Summer it can go several months without rain. Most rains are quick, passing showers; Winter is the rainy season.
With the above in mind, it would be reasonable to assume that North Cyprus would get most of its electricity from solar. Solar panels would cover a large farm with a battery storage facility off to one side. Once complete, the production of electricity would be more or less free for several years to come.
Of course not! That’s how it’s done in some parts of the world but not here. While there are several smaller solar stations, the major power generating plants are oil fired. There are several old school power plants that are expensive to operate and apparently antiquated. These plants are well past their life expectancy and are projected to fail in five years.
The plans for replacement plants are natural gas fired. No, there is no natural gas in North Cyprus, it is to be brought in on ships. Apparently, this is about the most expensive option available and it is the one favored by the decision makers. The only guess is that this would make North Cyprus more dependent on Turkey.
Sea breeze powered wind turbines would be another excellent choice. There are such windmills on the South half of the Island. They sprout on hilltops not far from the airport.
Sometimes you’ll see a place out in the middle of no-where that have both solar panels and small windmills. They are off the grid, literally.
From this you may be tempted by visions of electric meters that spin backwards and pay for an entire home’s power supply. I will now share a story: The local power company is called KidTek. It’s a quasi government organization that requires permission for most decisions.
This system has been abused by the various governments across the Nation. Our local, community government has not paid a single Lira in five years! The central governments owes millions but KibTek cannot turn their electricity off for non-payment.
The electric company is clearly not a profit making entity, even though we pay high rates. Thankfully, in a warm country the bills are not too high except in the middle of the Summer, when the air conditioner is on most afternoons.
The above is told as background so the following makes sense: You cannot install solar panels and disconnect your meter. Yes, solar panels and batteries are legal and you may not have to pay much, or anything at all. But you must remain connected to the grid. These guys need to sell paying customers electricity. Ex pats have far more money than most locals so the power company wants to remain hooked-up to your place… meter at the ready. We may not like it, but I suppose it's fair given the situation.