PO-Unit engages in Wave Energy Project    

Malta is a country with no domestic energy resources, and with only one traditional supply channel using fossil fuels. Nevertheless, Malta has a target of obtaining 10% of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources. This target, besides reducing the pollution caused from the burning of fossil fuels, will pave the way for Malta to have a cheaper energy source given the upward trend that oil prices have been following for a while.

Given the physical size limitation of the Maltese Islands, the 'usual'clean energy sources (using wind or solar energy) may not suffice to reach set targets.

On the other hand, there is a relatively vast amount of marine space under local jurisdiction, and it thus makes sense for Malta to use its surrounding seas as a key energy source.

The Physical Oceanography Unit (PO-Unit) of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta is participating in a project whose target is specifically to build and test a prototype convertor that taps energy from sea waves into electrical energy, and assess the feasibility of the use of this technology to furnish the Maltese Islands with clean energy. The adoption of this energy by the Maltese government will place Malta on the forefront of wave energy conversion.

This project is being coordinated by DEXAWAVE Energy Malta Ltd which will be responsible for the consturction and deployment of the DEXAWAVE Energy convertor protoype. The University of Malta is being represented in the project by the PO-Unit which will be responsible to model and observe the wave characteristics of the seas around the Maltese Islands, as well as the Institute of Sustainable Energy (IES) which will be responsible for the analysis of the power generation data.

The PO-Unit will be utilising its experience and expertise in wave modelling and analysis. It will be using high resolution wave models and data to define a wave climatology around the Maltese Islands. The analysis of such a climatology will serve as a basis to identify and map the wave energy resource. The PO-Unit will be also monitoring and analysing the wave conditions at the location of the convertor.

It is envisaged that once this project is succesfully completed it will pave the way for the generation of clean electrical energy at advantageous costs..