Energy demand up by 19% since 2013, Electrogas providing half of energy needs

A recently published annual report by the Regulator for Energy and Water Services found that energy demand has shot up by 19% between 2013 and 2018

The sharpest increase in the number of accounts took place between 2016 and 2017
The sharpest increase in the number of accounts took place between 2016 and 2017

Energy demand has shot up by 19% between 2013 and 2018 with the major increases registered between 2014 and 2015 (+5.2%) and between 2016 and 2017 (+7.5%).

The increase in demand is also mirrored in the number of billable electricity accounts which increased from 274,172 in 2011 to 305,523 in 2018 – an increase of 11%.

The sharpest increase in the number of accounts took place between 2016 and 2017 (9,612).

This emerges from figures published in the recently published annual report by the Regulator for Energy and Water Services, which shows the Electrogas power station – which produces energy from LNG at the Delimara plant – replacing the Malta-Sicily interconnector as Malta’s major energy supplier.

The share of electricity from the inconnector has fallen from 65% in 2016 to 36% in 2017 to just 24% in 2018. On the other hand the share from the Electrogas power station has increased from 37% in 2017, to 53% in 2018.

Energy from the Chinese-owned Power Generation Ltd amounted to 15% in 2017 and 16% in 2018.

Energy from renewables has more than doubled since 2014, increasing from 3% to 7% in 2018.

The REWS report notes that the drop in the use of the interconnector reflected an increase in the price of its energy, noting “that for 63% of the time the day-ahead hourly wholesale prices were higher than for the same hour in the previous year”.  

The report does not provide comparisons in prices between different providers of energy.

How Enemalta gets its electricity

Electricity is supplied by the Electrogas plant and D4 (ex-BWSC, now owned by Shanghai Electric Power) power stations, which are both privately owned and operated; and Enemalta’s own plants at Delimara.

Enemalta in  turn has contractual obligations to buy electricity from the Electrogas and D4 power stations that run on gas.

Electrogas is operated by a consortium that includes Maltese companies Gasan and Tumas, German company Siemens and Azerbaijan’s Socar.

D4, formerly known as the BWSC plant, was sold off to Chinese state company Shanghai Electric Power when the latter bought a stake in Enemalta.

A year ago the Daphne Project, a consortium of international journalists, quoted British energy experts questioning Enemalta’s contractual obligation to buy gas from Electrogas at a fixed price for five years.

This may have cost Malta millions in losses because the international price of gas had dropped since the deal was struck in 2015.

The government defended the deal, saying it had sought price stability, while getting private investment to help shift electricity production from the more harmful heavy fuel oil to gas.

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