The European Commission announced that it has approved Malta’s scheme to support large scale renewable energy installations. The intent of the Maltese Government’s proposed scheme, as part of the energy roadmap, was primarily for photovoltaic installations with a capacity of at least 1MWp, and may apply to wind farms in possession of a development approval.  

The scheme has been assessed by the European Commission and found compatible with the 2014 guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy in view of its beneficial impact on the environment and minimal distortion of the market. The maximum budget to be allocated between 2016 and 2020 will be around €140 million. This would be paid in the form of a premium above the market price of electricity over the 20 year guaranteed support period.   

Currently, over 80MWp photovoltaic capacity have already been installed in Malta.

The new scheme is essential for Malta to develop clean energy and is expected to provide support for at least 55% of the remaining 110MWp Photovoltaic capacity which still needs to be developed by 2020. Smaller systems shall continue to be supported through existing feed-in tariff schemes and grants.

Support shall be allocated through a competitive process whereby prospective project developers will be able to submit a sealed bid for a support level corresponding to a specific capacity. Different ceilings shall apply depending on the installation type. However, all submissions will ultimately compete together. This will ensure that the most cost effective sites are developed first.  

This scheme shall be complimented by the Solar Farm Policy which will determine suitable sites for the development of large scale photovoltaic systems and minimize the impact on the landscape.

Minister Konrad Mizzi welcomed the green light received from the European Commission and highlighted that this will incentivise significant investment by the private sector in green energy. He also highlighted that, over the last three years, the Government turned around the renewable sector and is now committed to sustain the momentum for further reducing emissions.


Source: medNews