Manuel Sapiano is Chair of the World Energy Council's Malta Member Committee and Chief Executive Officer of the Energy and Water Agency (EWA) within Malta’s Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development. In this role, he coordinates a team of experts with responsibilities for the formulation, evaluation, monitoring and implementation of national policies concerning the use of energy and water in a sustainable manner and the formulation of plans to meet National and EU energy and water resources management targets.
Henry Debattista is Secretary of the World Energy Council's Malta Member Committee and works as an Officer within the International Office of the Energy and Water Agency where he follows the Agency’s membership in regional and international organisations, coordinating the participation of technical experts from the Water and Energy Units in the initiatives and activities led by these organisations. He also leads the Agency’s participation in EU funded projects, in particular where such projects are of a cross-sectoral nature.
Energy in Malta
Malta’s World Energy Issues Monitor map shows an energy landscape in which a few closely related issues are considered as critical uncertainties. These issues can be correlated with the island’s physical and demographic limitations – characterised by a high population density and limited land availability for further development to meet the island’s demand.
Current Energy leaders expect to focus on land and water availability, climate change management and innovative transport. These three issues in fact have registered a high uncertainty and high impact score on the issues monitor map. Hence, mitigation measures to address these uncertainties are necessary for Malta to continue its decarbonisation strategy and make use of its limited spatial resources.
During 2021, challenges related to global shipping and manufacturing have had significant financial uncertainties that continue to influence uncertainty related to commodity prices and the country’s economic growth. In fact, Malta was particularly affected with these challenges since most of the goods consumed are imported. If the situation persists this could have an impact on the global and national post-pandemic recovery. Nevertheless, funding of actions aimed at the decarbonisation of the economy have continued to be prioritised as can be seen from the sustained development of renewable installations.
2021 also saw Malta’s start towards the implementation of the National Energy and Climate plan, which is expected to support the implementation of a Long-Term Renovation Strategy for the Buildings Sector as well as a Low Carbon Development Strategy until 2050. These plans and strategies outline Malta’s optimal path towards carbon neutrality in 2050.
National energy leaders also identified several issues which are expected to have a high impact with low uncertainty. This contrasts the results attributed to several other European countries which typically associate low uncertainty issues with low impact. In particular, leaders highlighted the strong impact renewable energies can have to meet the country’s energy demand, whilst having a low uncertainty. In fact, the deployment of renewable installations will continue to be sustained through financial aid with a view to attract innovative projects that focus on the development of offshore renewable energies. In this regard, this year saw the identification an exclusive economic zone where renewable energy generation could be facilitated. The emergence of new technologies that take advantage of floating offshore energy irrespective of sea depth will enable Malta to overcome critical uncertainties associated with restricted land mass and deep-sea bed and enable the broadening of new investment opportunities for climate change management.
Electricity Storage Innovation has gathered momentum towards having a moderate impact for energy security, whilst posing relatively low uncertain opinions. In fact, further attention shall be given towards battery storage in the upcoming years. This will mitigate issues on the low voltage grid and allow for better demand management and increase the grid’s ability to integrate intermittent renewable energy sources. Work will also continue to implement the necessary grid and charging infrastructure to support the electrification of the transport sector. This is being complemented by innovative transport systems such as newly introduced fast ferry links, park and ride facilities using electric shuttle vehicles as well as piloting driverless public transport.
Support for Research and Development with a specific focus on Energy and Water has continued to play an important role to encourage the development of emerging technologies. Such initiatives acknowledge the importance of providing direct national support to aid research and innovation in these important sectors, with a view to creating synergies between the private and public sectors and academia and developing a body of knowledge which is essential for both policy development and supporting green industry.
Malta Member Committee