The Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise launched the first policy document, detailing the National Policy for the Deployment of Offshore Renewable Energy for public consultation.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Policy seeks to enable the offshore potential of the Mediterranean in the country’s best interest. Technology-neutral, the policy supports the implementation of offshore renewable projects, mainly wind and solar, in areas lying beyond the territorial waters and within Malta’s potential Exclusive Economic Zone.

“The Government’s energy vision is to offer affordable and clean energy, improve the infrastructure, strengthen innovation, and continue delivering measures in favour of climate action. The launch of this policy paper for public consultation is an important milestone in this green transition,” Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli said. “The deployment of offshore energy projects is also an opportunity for sustainable economic growth, opening up job opportunities in the green and blue economies whilst tapping into the potential which the Mediterranean Sea has to offer.”

Following the public consultation and subsequent updates to the policy document, an international expression of interest will be issued. In parallel, a Strategic Environment Assessment will be prepared.

The policy provides a comprehensive framework to promote investment in renewable energy, direct potential investors towards efficient renewable technologies, promote research, development, and innovation, and ensure that the offshore energy potential supports the country’s energy security.

Offshore renewable energy projects also tap into the potential of the blue and green economies. The proposed policy seeks to generate economic growth by creating a platform for new green employment opportunities and focuses the possibility of creating jobs in various sectors, including manufacturing, operation, and maintenance of renewable energy infrastructure.

The proposed policy also seeks to complement the regulatory and implementation framework, which will support investors in materialising their offshore projects, reducing the time from concept to commissioning by assisting directly through effective governance and monitoring. The public consultation opens today till the end of September. The document is accessible on the Government’s public consultation portal or through here.

Malta’s National Policy for the Development of Offshore Renewable Energy has identified six potential zones which could host future renewable energy installations.  Whilst the selection of these zones has already taken into consideration environmental sensitivity as well economic activity at the policy design stage, the policy is now being subjected to a Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) in line with SL 549.61. The environment report assessed the environmental impacts of the policy by considering five different alternatives.  The report assessed the impact on the following key environmental themes: Air Quality, Climate Change, Cultural Heritage, Energy, Geology and Geomorphology and Hydrography, Landscape, Marine, Terrestrial and Coastal Biodiversity, Maritime uses and Transportation.

The public is being invited to review the Environmental Report and provide feedback. The document can be accessed here.

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