Solar energy is the most abundant renewable resource, and, therefore much of the focus on sustainable energy is targeting the optimum solar energy use. Southern Europe, including Cyprus, presents an important solar energy potential and its exploitation is critical for regional sustainable development through efficient energy planning and a gradual independence from fossil fuels. The main question in solar radiation and energy research is the better understanding and the improvement of measurement and forecast accuracy of solar radiation related parameters and products. Energy is a top priority in the Smart Specialization Strategy for Cyprus, so solar energy management is crucial in the energy exchange marketplace, where on-the-spot energy prices are defined by supply and demand equilibriums; hence, energy ”liquidity” is vital.

Furthermore, Cyprus experiences high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, with UV index values reaching up to 10 (extreme high) during the summer months. While UV radiation is essential for vitamin D synthesis, overexposure can lead to harmful health effects such as erythema, eye damage, and an increased risk of skin cancer. However, despite the high levels of UV radiation, a significant portion of the Cypriot population, particularly those with lower educational backgrounds, do not adhere to appropriate protective measures when exposed to the sun. Additionally, recent studies found that a big part of the Cypriot population has inadequate levels of 25(OH)D [9], indicating a need for a better strategy to promote optimal sun exposure behaviours and benefit the public health system of Cyprus.

To address these issues, the Eratosthenes Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with advanced partners from the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) and Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC), established the Energy Sector and the ERATOSTHENES Solar Radiation and Energy Laboratory (ESEL) as part of the Excelsior EU project. This laboratory aims to contribute to the above needs and conduct research in this field.

The activities of ESEL are diverse, encompassing both fundamental research and applications related to solar radiation levels, radiative transfer modeling, and relevant atmospheric effects. The main scientific directions focus on several key areas:

The Energy sector closely collaborates with the Atmosphere group in many of its activities, including the Atmosphere Living Lab.

solar activities
This project has received funding from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the “Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and and Development”.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s “Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme” under Grant Agreement No 857510”.
This project is co-funded by the Cyprus University of Technology.