The Ministry for Energy and Water Management in Malta looks forward to the upcoming 5th Cretan Energy Conference 2020 as a platform that will give us the opportunity to share information and insights in the energy sector; particularly at this time, where energy and climate issues are at the forefront of political and societal debate both at an EU and at a global level.
In Malta, the government’s main focus is to provide citizens and businesses with affordable sustainable and secure forms of energy which in itself is a reflection of the overarching policy fundamentals of the EU Energy Union. Over recent years, Malta has seen an overhaul in its energy sector, moving away from the use of heavy fuel oil for electricity generation towards the use of LNG in gas-fired power plants. Maintaining a diversified energy mix; reducing carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions through improved efficiency in generation capacity; strengt
hening the security of supply of the country wh
ilst ensuring the availability of appropriate back up capacity; achieving a degree of interconnection for electricity supply and overhauling the generation capacity of the country with a view to achieving higher efficiency gains remain crucial for the island.
In line with the obligations of the Governance Regulation, Malta developed its first National Energy and Climate plan in 2019, which serves as a strategic planning framework and policy document that will guide Malta’s contribution to achieving the Energy Union’s 2030 objectives and targets, whilst identifying those measures necessary for their achievement during the period until 2030, with an outlook until 2040. The plan provides a clear path for Malta to attain the overarching objectives of a sustainable, affordable and secure energy system which needs to follow a decarbonisation trajectory, whilst recognising the inherent challenges and opportunities brought about by national specificities such as spatial constraints, high population density, and a mild Mediterranean climate. This calls for specific solutions, which may also depend on further technological and cost developments.
Energy efficiency, which is one of the main drivers of our energy policy is being complemented by various government incentives. Malta recognises the importance of investing in and stimulating renewable energy sources and continuing to support the exploitation of viable indigenous sources. Government increased its efforts to support the deployment of renewable energy, especially photovoltaics, solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters, which are particularly w
ell suited to Malta’s climate. The Government extended its current policy framework in the area of Renewables for the period until 2030, whilst providing new initiatives tailored to local specificities and acknowledging the technical, geographical and spatial barriers limiting renewable energy potential. Malta is also assessing innovative and cost-effective solutions to increase energy system flexibility, such as the deployment of energy storage solutions, which would be necessary to compensate for the increased deployment of renewables.
Whist it is acknowledged that Mediterranean countries already cooperate in various sectors, there is undoubtedly room for closer ties to exploit opportunities for growth based on sustainable development. In this regard, Malta already actively participates in initiatives taken under the aegis of the Union for the Mediterranean, and is convinced that by sharing resources, including both physical, technology and knowledge, it is possible to achieve better and quicker results. This would also make it possible to address specific challenges being faced by individual countries such as rapid
increase in energy demand, air quality issues and network constraints.
We are all witness to the results obtained through effective collaboration on gas exploration and transmission in the East Med. Similar collaboration hubs can surely produce similar results. It is therefore important that existing fora are strengthened to act as the necessary platform for future collaboration.