Sustainable energy is the future, so it is now vital that we move away from relying on depletable sources that harm the environment (such as fossil fuels). Instead, we must harness the power of renewable energy sources that do not compromise the lives and needs of generations to come.
Continuing to develop renewable sources is key. Wind, solar, aerothermal, geothermal, hydro and ocean energy all offer hope for a more sustainable future, as do biomass and renewable gases, such as biogas.
We can also ensure sustainability by being more efficient with the energy we use. By implementing energy efficiency measures, not only do we save energy, but we also secure a cleaner, cheaper and more impactful way of living and working sustainably.
Above all, Malta strives for a sustainable future. And that is why we actively contribute to the EU’s climate goals, which include targets for increasing the EU’s renewable energy share and improving energy efficiency.
Renewable Energy Sources
One of our primary roles at the Energy & Water Agency is to increase and diversify Malta’s renewable energy sources to fast-track the country’s transition to a greener future. As per the Fit-for-55 legislative package the EU aims to fulfil at least 40% of its total energy needs with renewable energy by 2030, and we are working hard to achieve this.
20% at 2020
40% by 2030
Which renewable energy sources can be used?
The EU Directive 2018/2001/EU on the ‘Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources’ details which renewable sources can contribute to the energy mix in different areas:
- Renewable Electricity: For electricity generation, technologies that can contribute include photovoltaic (solar-powered) systems and wind turbines.
- Renewable Heating and Cooling: For heating, cooling and cooking purposes, solar water heaters, heat pump water heaters and biomass heaters can be used.
- Renewable Transport: For powering vehicles, biofuels and renewable electricity can be used.
The graph below details the proportions of renewable energy sources used in Malta in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, for a country that sees so much sunshine, Malta’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan (2017) identified solar energy as the energy source with the highest potential for growth in Malta in the short term. As a result of policies and measures introduced over the past few years, Malta has made significant progress in the extended use of solar energy, increasing its share of solar capacity by 185% from 2010 to 2020.
The Cost of Renewable Energy Sources
Energy produced from renewable energy sources is typically more expensive than that produced from conventional fuels. The reason is that energy prices do not internalise environmental costs – something that Malta is prioritising. Therefore, renewable energy sources need to receive financial or regulatory support. This way, citizens can assist Malta’s drive to use more renewable energy cost-effectively.
To promote the use of renewables, the NECP outlines the following measures:
- Financial support schemes for investing in household solar panels
- Incentives to support solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters
- Biofuel substitution obligation (suppliers must blend a portion of automotive fuels with biofuel)
To further maximise Malta’s renewable electricity potential and in view of the ambition to decarbonise Malta’s energy system, the Energy & Water Agency is also exploring the possibility of offshore renewable resources, in addition to reassessing the potential of photovoltaic installations (solar power systems) and continuing its research into the applicability of new technologies. This includes assessing the potential for harnessing wind energy, in particular focusing on floating offshore wind technology due to the deep bathymetry of the sea surrounding the Maltese islands.