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The struggles of Maltese energy policy

The country's energy grid has had its fair share of recent problems, despite ongoing projects
  • vendredi 17 janvier 2020 17h30
  • Author TheMayor.EU
Medium auberge of castille at night
Source: Auberge of Castille in Valletta at night / A. Dimitrova

For years, Malta has had problems with its energy system. This was mainly due to the lack of a single, unified energy policy. In 2012, however, the government approved precisely such a policy that also included ways to ensure its sustainability.

Energy policy implementation

Yet, little progress can be seen to date in terms of renewable energy for example. The energy mix comprises of oil (333 ktoe in 2017), renewable sources such as wind, solar panels, etc. (18 ktoe in 2017) and biofuels and waste (12 ktoe in 2017). On the positive side, coal has not been used since the middle of the 1990s.

Since 2012, while many initiatives have taken place, none of them were aimed at changing the existing energy policy. They addressed different tax cuts and cuts regarding electric vehicles and energy efficiency obligations.

The Energy and Water Agency and the Ministry of Energy and Water Management launched procedures for support of photovoltaic systems. The first has started in 2018 and has a two-year initial period of implementation. These procedures are in line with the Solar Farm Policy and Malta’s renewable energy targets 2020.

The photovoltaic farms are predicted to generate 1500 mWh annually from nearly 3700 panels.

Part of the national energy policy is also a project to reduce annual energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from street lighting through a project financed by the EU.

A Christmas crisis

Despite these many projects and initiatives, there is an obvious problem with the energy network in Malta that should be addressed on both the political and the technical levels.

At the end of December 2019, a lot of towns and villages were left without electricity on two separate occasions due to power cuts. Despite being restored in a matter of minutes, the deepening problems of the energy supply chain in Malta were put on display, according to the members of the Democratic Party. They urge for the creation of a comprehensive and more up-to-date energy policy to address the current problems.

A new policy?

The Democratic Party issued a statement in this regard. It stated that if the two major parties do no take measures to solve these problems, it is the PD that will prepare and issue a well-detailed and sustainable energy policy that uses a holistic approach towards the power supply in the country.

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