Energy efficiency, battery storage and renewables were among the themes discussed during the National Energy Conference, organized jointly between the Energy and Water Agency and the Institute for Sustainable Energy at The University of Malta.

Recent developments in the geopolitical sphere and the ever-pressing issue of climate change are placing a renewed urgency for action to accelerate the decarbonisation of our economies and reduce reliance on energy imports.  It is acknowledged that this requires investment in research and innovation to yield new technology solutions.  Within this context, Malta’s National Energy Conference 2022, has brought together international and local speakers from various energy sectors to discuss these topics.

In her address, Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise, Miriam Dalli remarked on the importance of renewables, energy efficiency and storage to achieve the decarbonisation target, but more so to increase the national security of supply, address energy prices and provide long term energy and price stability. “Our vision is clear: We want to increase renewable energy and improve the efficiency of electricity use. Work is currently underway so that Malta reports these measures and informs the European Commission of its planned actions,” explained Minister Dalli.

Amongst distinguished foreign guests and experts, Yolanda Garcia Mezquita, from the European Commission, stressed the importance of energy security and the phasing out of Russian fossil fuels by 2030. She highlighted the relevance of the RepowerEU and the great potential the EU has for renewables which needs to be exploited across all sectors.

Chief Energy Officer at the Energy and Water Agency Sandro Lauri, in his address highlighted how the conference comes at an opportune time in view of the recent developments in the geopolitical sphere with the ongoing war in Ukraine and the resulting price hikes in energy prices and services which have put additional pressures and a renewed urgency for action to accelerate the decarbonisation of our economies.

During the conference, local researchers have presented their projects in relation to renewables, including photo voltaic systems, offshore wind resources and solar potential, including a number of projects being undertaken in collaboration with the Energy and Water Agency through the Research and Innovation fund. Energy efficiency as the cheapest form of energy was the topic of discussion during the second session which brought together local and foreign experts who explored positive energy districts, green roofs and energy efficiency in industry, among other themes. As a final session of discussion, leading experts discussed the development of energy storage and battery technologies.

Finally, a panel discussion made up of all keynote speakers together with Filipa Newton from the Portuguese energy agency ADENE and Luciano Mulé Stagno from the Institute for Sustainable Energy at the University of Malta, addressed the question ‘How can Europe become energy independent by 2050?’ where all admitted that whilst in theory this is possible, in practice it is very difficult to achieve, and it will take efforts across all sectors for this to be achieved.

Full presentations and further information can be accessed here.

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