Solar Energy and Wind Energy in Malta

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1 Solar Energy and Wind Energy in Malta To generate electricity in Malta, the Delimara PowerStation is used which runs on oil. It is the major environment offender since it is from here that most emissions occur. When oil is burned in the power stations, carbon dioxide is emitted in the atmosphere which causes pollution. It is a greenhouse gas therefore it is increasing the greenhouse effect. Transportation of oil can also cause many treats to the environment e.g. oil tankers may experience leakages especially in bad weather which cause an oil spill which kill wildlife. Therefore Malta can make use of renewable energy. Two types of renewable energy that can be used in Malta are solar energy and wind energy. Figure 1 - Oil Source: - developed by author Page 1

2 Solar energy Solar energy is when sun shines and with this energy one can do a number of things like generate electricity or heat water etc. It can t be used at night since sun doesn t shine at night, but during the day energy is stored for the night. Types of solar energy: Passive solar heating: It involves no investments at all nor does it involve any form of electrical device. It involves proper design of window, walls, curtains and others which are designed in a way and made to collect, store and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. It can be used to heat buildings and living spaces and to generate electricity. At mid-northern latitudes solar energy can be captured by designing south facing windows which in turn capture maximum sunlight. These include double glazed windows and walls, open curtains in winter to light and heat the room and close the curtains to reject solar energy in summer from coming in the room, south-facing windows to capture maximum solar energy and others. Solar water heaters: A solar water heater is a flat plane at an angle on the roof facing the sun. It includes black pipes and a water tower mounted on it. The water from the water tower flows along the black tubes and Figure 2 solar water heater in Mosta - Malta. Source : - developed by author Page 2

3 it is heated as it flows. This system heats water naturally as the sun shines energy, instead of utilizing energy to heat in the conventional water heater (geyser). Photovoltaic cells: This device is used to turn the sun s energy into electrical energy. This involves a set of roof mounted silver cells made up of a semi-conductor material which are placed at an angle on the roof facing the sun. When the sun strikes the cells an electrical charge is created which charges the system s battery. The battery in turn supplies building with electricity. The battery is changed about every 10 years. Wind energy Wind energy is captured by high mounted wind turbines. Wind turbines are mounted several meters above ground (sometimes over 30m in height) in order to capture the maximum wind power. Their blades rotate by the force of the wind which is in turn power a generator installed within a tower. The kinetic energy of the blades is converted into electrical energy by the generator. It can be found singularly but usually many together in wind farms. Page 3

4 Figure 4 - Wind turbine at Bingemma Mgarr - Malta. Source: - Developed by author. What is Being Done in Malta In Malta solar energy, wave energy and wind energy can be used since we have a lot of sun, we have wind frequently and since Malta is an island we are surrounded by sea which can help us to use wave energy Wind energy in Malta can help the country to reach a significant proportion of 10% renewable energy target of The Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs is proposing the developed of one offshore wind farm at Is- Sikka l-bajda by 2016 and another two smaller onshore wind farms at Wied Rini (limits of Bahrija) and Hal far. These projects help Malta to achieve compliance with EU policies and to strengthen the country s energy supply through an environmentally friendly and sustainable source. The best form of renewable energy in Malta is solar energy.currently in Malta there is only about 2% of renewable energy and by 2020 Malta, is to Page 4

5 reach 10% renewable energy, or else we ll get a fine. Malta can make a lot of use of passive solar heating as the sun shines almost every day in the year and it is reachable in every part of the country. Although solar water heaters and photovoltaic cells are very expensive the government is paying half the bill so more people could buy them. Also in Malta we don t have a PowerStation that uses solar energy because it is too expensive for the country to afford and we don t have the land for it. Page 5

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