Environment Minister Miriam Dalli has called for increased investment in renewable energy sources on Wednesday, saying €24 billion sitting idle in bank deposits could be directed towards green investment.  

“Nothing short of €24 billion is sitting idle in Maltese bank deposits.... we need to support Maltese investors to direct this capital opportunity towards greener business ventures,” Dalli said, stressing that the financial industry had a key role to play in Malta’s move to a green economy.  

Dalli’s comments were given as part of a speech at an event organised by accounting firm PKF in association with Times of Malta.  

Speaking about environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), Dalli said that renewable energy was critical to the country’s economic vision.  

Stressing that ESG should not become simply a “buzzword” within the business community, the minister called for increased investment in renewables, and said more work was needed to facilitate this.   

Some of the participants at the ESG conference.Some of the participants at the ESG conference.

Responding to questions about the progress of Malta’s development of offshore wind farms, the minister said a regulatory framework for floating wind farms in Malta’s waters is “moving at a good pace.” 

Malta is aiming to be autonomous in energy production, the minister said, and that the sector was attracting investment. 

“Cost is a factor,” she admitted, noting that the costs for offshore renewable technologies remains “on the high side” for Malta.  

Too much time has been lost - shadow minister

Voicing criticism of the government’s track record on green energy, Opposition spokesperson for energy and enterprise Mark Anthony Sammut said “enough time has been lost.”  

A long-term strategy for investment was needed, he said, and stressed the need for more robust systems of energy distribution including a smart, AI-driven electricity grid.  

Malta was “blessed” by its environment, he said, stressing the availability of solar, tidal and wind power for the country.

Framework for development of wind farms

In October, the government announced it was working on a framework to develop floating wind farms at sea.  

While the development of wind turbines off the coast has been on and off the agendas of all recent administrations for at least two decades, EU goals for renewable energy use and the war in Ukraine have increased demand for the sector.  

Speaking in parliament in March, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana underlined the need for a green transition, saying there was unprecedented pressure in the European Commission and from certain EU countries for member states to rein in their deficits and place a stronger emphasis on the green economy. 

Sun, wind power make record 12% of world electricity: survey  

Solar and wind energy surged to make a record 12 percent of the world's electricity in 2022, a climate think tank calculated in a report Wednesday -- though coal remained the leading source globally.

The report provides the latest gauge of renewable energy growth as countries scramble to meet emissions targets to curb climate change and secure alternative power sources after gas-exporter Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

"Record growth in wind and solar drove the emissions intensity of the world's electricity to its lowest ever level in 2022," said climate and energy think tank Ember in its yearly Global Electricity Review.

Helping slow the rise in planet-heating emissions, power from wind turbines and solar panels was up to 12 percent from 10 percent in 2021 and five percent in 2015.

Renewable sources, including nuclear power, accounted for 39 percent of world electricity, the group estimated.

The rest came from fossil fuels that cause planet-warming carbon emissions: oil, gas, and coal, which was the biggest source at 36 percent.

With electricity demand continuing to rise, coal generation grew 1.1 percent -- slower than expected, Ember said.

Scientists and the International Energy Agency say use of these fossil fuels must be reduced sharply to reach the critical target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Countries at the COP26 UN climate summit in 2021 agreed to "phase down" coal, the most polluting of the fossil fuels, but progress has been limited and new coal plants are planned, notably in India and China.

"We forecast that 2023 will see a small fall in fossil generation... with bigger falls in subsequent years as wind and solar grow further," Ember said.

"That would mean 2022 hit 'peak' emissions. A new era of falling power sector emissions is close." (AFP)



Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us