By means of an investment of €195,000 from MCST (The FUSION Programme), a team of researchers based in Malta are collaborating with a Maltese company on the design and development of an innovative solar panel specifically designed for flat rooftops, such as the ones found in Malta and many other Mediterranean countries.
Minister for Equality, Research and Innovation Owen Bonnici visited the premises of the Institute of Sustainable Energy in Marsaxlokk, where work on the MedSolar research project is taking place with EMPAV Engineering Ltd.
Minister Owen Bonnici praised this collaboration for its contribution towards clean, sustainable energy. “The work being undertaken by these researchers is of particularly great value, as it does not only have potential for international commercialisation, but it can also help to bring our country closer to its sustainable energy targets," the Minister said, adding that, “Smaller, more efficient solar panels would mean that clean energy will be accessible to people who do not have the space for the traditional bulkier ones." He said that, “PV systems on rooftops will be the primary means of investing in renewable energy."
The director for the Institute for Sustainable Energy Prof Mulè Stagno explained that photovoltaic installations in Malta have been there for a long time, but only became popular in the last eight years. As one might imagine, the industry adapted what was going on in other parts of the world, mostly Northern Europe, and applied it to the local rooftop.
“What we are proposing is a photovoltaic system that, rather than being adopted from overseas, is designed specifically for our buildings – a solution which will not only provide the same benefit at a similar cost to current systems, but will be easier to install and provide energy saving benefits. Such a solution would be perfectly suited not only to Maltese homes, but also anywhere with similar construction such as the southern Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa," he said.