Since site choice in Malta is very restricted, heavy survey investment to find the ‘best’ rock formations is practically useless.
Since plenty of sea water is available, condensing plants are a possible option.
Condensing plants need almost half the steam of discharging plants. Therefore the number of wells will be reduced accordingly together with the capital outlay.
In general the distance between the resource and the plant must be as small as possible to save on pipelines.
Once the initial investment is recovered, the energy costs will almost be insignificant.
Savings can be achieved by utilizing the hot fluids throughout all the temperature range.
Compared to their vast coal / oil / hydro resources, G8 energy authorities would consider small EGS as expensive. But do we have that choice? Land Renewable energy Sources (RES) such as Wind and Solar, are minimal in Malta due to our small available area compared to our population density and corresponding power needs.
Relative set up costs
A feasibility study is beyond the scope of this presentation.
In the short term it is clear that the capital investment for well production is considerable. EGS costs can be paid back relatively fast only if major Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants with district heating/ cooling are considered.
It is conceivable that surplus energy be produced for export.
It is also conceivable that heavy funding may be allocated for a major project of this kind, as it will be of interest to all EU members.
Comparisons with fuel burning plants are misleading: What will the price of oil be in 20 years time? Eventually oil demand is surely to exceed supply. What are the full social costs of fossil fuels?
What will be the total cost of electricity/ heat produced in future, if we do not act now?
In 2005 the power generation cost for Malta, was 164 million Euro. (Enemalta annual report 2006)
Let us consider a very conservative yearly increase in this expense of only 5% (say less than 2% price increase per annum + 3% consumption increase per annum. Note that from 2004 to 2005 the fuel expenses increased by 33.7%)
Summing up the yearly oil expenses assumed to grow by only 5% p.a., in 20 years we will spend in total 5860 million Euro (excluding other social costs, inflation, eventual EU sanctions if we do not meet emissions criteria, etc.)
Comparisons with other RES must take into account the higher yearly energy generation per nominal power output installed (contribution efficiency). What is the cost of generating electricity on windless days?
Geothermal Energy will provide 3.3 times the power supplied by Wind generation and 86.5 times the power supplied by PV. Costs should be compared accordingly.
Geothermal Energy produces a constant and reliable source of base-load power.
Comparison of renewable & conventional energy systems
Comparing Wind and EGS