Six international companies in the offshore wind business have shown an interest in Malta’s offshore renewable energy policy, according to a spokesperson for the energy ministry.

They were among 64 entities and individuals who submitted their views on the National Policy for the Development of Offshore Renewable Energy when it was open to the public for consultation.

“Sixty-four is a relatively high number given the technical nature of the document. This in itself shows the interest that the policy has generated in this innovative field,” the spokesperson said.

Business organisations, NGOs, government entities and individuals were among those who also took part in the consultation process.

Malta’s first-ever national policy for offshore renewable energy was announced in August, with plans to have the first wind or solar floating farms located between 12 and 25 nautical miles off the island’s shores. 

Following the end of the public consultation in September, financial and technical studies are being drawn up, the spokesperson said. An expression of interest call should be made in the first quarter of 2024.

Six areas identified as potential sites

Six areas were identified as potential sites for the offshore grid. The government will eventually develop two sites.

Although the spokesperson did not say how much energy the offshore plants will eventually produce, he said the amount would be “considerable”.

In August, Energy and Water Agency engineer Sandro Lauri said only 10 per cent of Malta’s energy is generated from renewable sources. 

Most of that comes from solar panels – which take a lot of space in a country where land is limited and expensive, he said.

Energy from renewable sources in 2022 produced 297 GWh (gigawatt hours) paling in comparison to the 1,996.5 GWh that were produced in power plants, the National Statics Office said earlier this month.

NSO statistics show that the electricity supply in Malta consisted of net generation from power plants (67.5%), supply from net imports (22.2%) and renewable sources (10.3%). 

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