pv magazine speaks with Luciano Mule’Stagno, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at the University of Malta, about the prospects of floating offshore PV in Malta and the Mediterranean. He says offshore PV could become competitive with ground-mounted solar in some land-constrained countries.
The latest numbers released by EU data body Eurostat indicate renewables, including hydropower, contributed 37% of Europe’s gross electricity consumption in 2020, up from 34% a year earlier.
Developed by scientists in Malta, the tool is said to predict yield gains or losses that waves can determine in offshore PV installations. The research group identified three movements an offshore array can be subject to, and for each of them provided specific measurements.
The new floating structures can be made of light, reinforced concrete or similar materials, and are claimed to withstand 6m high waves. They can be utilized with standard photovoltaic modules that are currently available on the market.
While solar, wind and hydro generated 80 TWh more electricity last year than in 2019, coal and oil use fell in every EU member state, and Greek energy emissions fell almost 19%.
The highest bid in Malta’s latest procurement exercise was €0.129/kWh. The Maltese authorities selected eight PV projects, with capacities ranging from 1 MW to 3 MW.
More than a dozen European ministers of economic affairs have released a statement setting out the next steps to turn Europe into an industrial hub for large-scale cell production. The role of SMEs and competition was highlighted as ministers said European cells should provide innovation in terms of raw material use and sustainability, hinting at a pivot away from lithium-ion.
The call is the second of its kind, and part of the 50 MW incentive scheme the island’s government launched in November. Malta is aiming to reach 200 MW of PV capacity by 2020.
With this new scheme, the Maltese government hopes to deploy around 50 MW of PV capacity over the next three years.
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