'Renewable energy is in the spotlight. In Malta—an island that is said to enjoy an average of 300 days of sunshine per year—solar power has become mainstream, enabling the country to reach its goal of using 10% renewable energy by 2020.
But any advantage Malta has in terms of abundant sunshine, it loses through its lack of another vital resource: space. Measuring just 316 km², Malta’s limited surface area means that, beyond the existing photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on rooftops or disused quarries, any land left for larger PV installations is rare and expensive.
Prof. Luciano Mulѐ Stagno at the University of Malta believes the answer to this problem lies not on land, but at sea. Malta being surrounded by water, he has proposed that installing solar panels in open water, in offshore floating PV farms, could be as cost-effective and reliable as those on land—an idea that has never progressed beyond the theoretical stage anywhere in the world.'