Malta’s demand for electricity has increased by 18 percent over the past four years and is expected to grow from 2,500GWH to 3,000GWH, with peak demand growing from 445MW to 538MW in six years’ time. The expected rise in demand is anticipated to be brought about by shore-to-ship power projects, electrification of vehicles, and the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Malta’s annual electricity consumption is the second lowest final energy consumption per capita across all EU Member States. Despite low consumption rates, the specific characteristics of Malta’s energy system and market, such as its small nature, the existence of a single electricity distributor/supplier, the absence of natural gas and district heating and cooling networks, and the small size and number of suppliers and market players limit the range of measures available to meet energy savings obligations. Steep population and GDP growth in recent years has made it difficult to restrain energy consumption. Nevertheless, Malta’s efforts in energy efficiency post-2020 will seek to achieve cost efficient energy savings in the relative sectors whilst taking into account the effective potential. Malta will strive to continue decreasing the overall energy intensity of its economy and uphold its obligations under the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Union. Malta’s strategy under the energy security dimension will continue to emphasize the government’s commitment to achieving greater security of supply through the diversification of energy sources and suppliers and reduce energy import dependency primarily through the deployment of indigenous Renewable Energy Sources (RES). The next step is a $400 million Malta-Italy gas pipeline, which will replace the permanently moored gas tanker currently supplying the power plant; the government has an expected commissioning date between 2025 and 2028. Stretching over a span of 159 km, the pipeline will connect Malta to the European Gas Network Grid. The two landing points will be in Delimara, Malta and Gela, Italy. Another recent project approved by the government is a 200-megawatt cable that will cost approximately $207 million and will run parallel to the existing interconnector that links Malta with Ragusa by 2025.
Climate neutrality is the EU’s ambition by 2050. Malta’s binding non-Emission Trading System (ETS) greenhouse gas emission reduction target is -19 percent by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. Malta will extend its current support framework for RES until 2030 and launch new initiatives tailored to local specificities to ensure that technically and economically viable indigenous sources of renewable energy may be exploited.
Malta has not yet adopted renewable energy solutions beyond solar power, although it has studied several possibilities. Increases in energy costs worldwide have given new impetus to this work, since Malta imports nearly all its energy. The government continues to explore additional possibilities for solar power generation and employing other alternative energy sources such as wind power (see also Waste section for related opportunities). U.S. suppliers of renewable solutions may therefore find opportunities in Malta. Further, this gives rise to opportunities for U.S. energy storage technologies and batteries, which assist in flattening the demand curve and smoothing out Malta’s energy supply. Malta also seeks to secure battery storage to aid with problems of energy intermittency that comes with widescale adoption of renewable energy sources like solar and wind.
Opportunities also exist for U.S. manufactures of green transportation given Malta’s clean energy vehicle targets set at 20 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030, the government pledged to introduce 65,000 electric cars on the road within nine years. The Government of Malta has issued schemes aimed at encouraging ownership of electric vehicles, reducing the number of internal combustion engine vehicles on the road. In the next 3 years government will install 1,200 electric charging pillars for public use, coupled with government incentives to support individuals seeking charging pillars in their homes.
In 2021, government launched two separate funding schemes to install renewable energy projects. Private investors seeking to invest in this sector can submit a proposal for all forms of renewable energy capacities. The call for medium-sized projects has a €50 million ($59 million) budget for renewable energy proposals ranging between 40KWP up to 1MWP with a total generation of 31MW. Whilst the large-scale renewable energy, with a €26 million ($31 million) budget, will entertain bids for onshore wind, photovoltaic and solar panel projects that generate between one and 16 megawatts of energy. The latter investment scheme is spread among 10 calls which are open until July 2022.
Malta Resources Authority (MRA)
Enemalta Corporation (ENAMALTA)
Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development (https://energy.gov.mt/en/Pages/default.aspx)
Energy and Water Agency (https://www.energywateragency.gov.mt/)