Malta targeting up to 65MW offshore wind, solar generation by 2030

Energy minister said Malta will generate up to 65MW in offshore solar, or 50MW in offshore wind energy by 2030

The Benghisa solar farm. Malta plans to generate more energy from offshore wind and solar plants
The Benghisa solar farm. Malta plans to generate more energy from offshore wind and solar plants

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli has told a Chamber of Commerce debate that Malta will generate a minimum 50 Megawatts from offshore wind farms or 65MW from offshore solar plants by 2030.

Dalli said the Russian conflict in Ukraine had now prioritised price stability as the main pillar for Malta’s energy policy, with €200 million allocated towards keeping energy prices stable.

Her shadow counterpart and PN candidate Ryan Callus also pledged that a future Nationalist government would continue subsidising energy prices. But he warned that the jury was out on how long the conflict would last: “Our pledge is that in the immediate, the increase in gas prices should not be carried by individuals and businesses.”

Dalli emphasised Malta’s energy policy would be anchored in renewable energy, with various studies on offshore windfarms in Malta having already been carried out.

Callus said the PN was in favour of Malta’s hydrogen-ready gas pipeline to Sicily, which is slated for €200 million in EU funding with a target for 2035.

Dalli said Malta will be able to diversify its energy mix, buying electricity from LNG imports of Electrogas, who own the Delimara gas plant, but she evaded questioning on Enemalta’s relationship with Electrogas, whose shareholder Yorgen Fenech stands accused of masterminding the Caruana Galizia assassination.

Callus instead accused the Labour government of paying Electrogas an extra €10 million for its electricity provision from LNG, irrespective of whether it’s the cheapest source at the time of generation. Malta also procures electricity from the Malta-Sicily subsea cable.

Dalli also criticised the Nationalist Party’s ESG manifesto cornerstone – environment, social and governance – as criteria for business incentives: “The criteria apply for companies with 5,000 or more employees and they would have to employ outsiders to sit on the board of directors. This scares businesses.”

Callus played down those concerns, saying the criteria “guarantee a level-playing field for all.”

Callus hit back at claims of non-costed proposals, saying that a day before Prime Minister Robert Abela had costed Labour’s manifesto at €3 billion, he omitted the cost of the proposed metro project at €6 billion.