Malta, first national policy for offshore renewable energy launched
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese government has launched for consultation Maltàs first national policy for offshore renewable energy with plans to have the first wind or solar floating farms located between 12 and 25 nautical miles off Maltà shores. While the Maltese islands are limited by their spatial ground area of 316km2, the country through its geographical location in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, has a potential Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 70,000km2, which is much larger than its land area. Six sites have been identified as potential areas where the floating farms could be located. Several factors were taken into account including: airport buffer zone and harbour approaches, aquaculture farm boundaries, submarine cables and pipelines, exploratory oil wells and potential oil and gas prospects, fishing aggregation devices zones, marine facilities and marine and bird species in the area. Wind strength was also taken into account. At the moment, most of Maltàs energy is generated from fossil fuel with only 10 per cent coming from renewable energy. Most of the renewable energy is generated from solar panels – which take a lot of space in a country where land is limited and expensive. Energy Minister Miriam Dalli said, “this is Maltàs first-ever national policy for offshore renewable energy to offer clean and affordable energy that is created responsibly and with environmental awareness. We need to get to a point where our energy is generated from renewable sources so that we can be more autonomous,” adding that the interest of the consumer was always at the centre and that such investment would also be creating jobs. The public consultation is open until the end of September after which the feedback will be evaluated and an international call for expression of interest will lead to the shortlisting of bidders. No timeline was given for the setting up of the first renewable energy farms as that depended on several factors.
– Foto: Agenzia Fotogramma –