PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR ENERGY AND WATER MANAGEMENT: Energy diversification at the core of national and European strategies

Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi said that energy diversification is at the core of both national and European strategies to enhance the security of supply, and to improve the robustness of the energy system.

Whilst addressing the International Energy Charter Forum, in Tirana, Albania, Minister Joe Mizzi said that the subject of Energy Diversification, Renewable and Energy Efficiency tops the list of priorities for most Energy Ministers and is central in the energy transition and decarbonisation of our economies.

The importance of energy diversification is fully reflected in my country’s Energy policy. After a significant investment to move away from the use of fuel oil for power generation and the construction of an LNG facility, Malta is now in the process of constructing a gas pipeline to connect to the European grid, Minister Mizzi said. This strategy allowed Malta to roughly reduce by 50% our greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, and shall eventually provide us with the possibility of sourcing natural gas at more competitive pricing. This investment is complemented by an electricity interconnector with Sicily, which improves the robustness of our electricity system, whilst providing access to the European electricity markets.

Minister Mizzi said that we need to strive for diversification which aligns with our commitments under the Paris Agreement, and ensure that it leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and in general, improve accessibility to energy at affordable prices for all citizens.

Beyond the investment necessary to secure our energy system, Minister said, Malta’s energy policy underlines the importance to shift towards a low carbon economy. In this regard we continue to support the deployment of renewable energy, photovoltaic installations, these being particularly suited for Malta’s geographic location and densely built-up landscape.

My Ministry is encouraging the deployment of innovative pilot renewable energy projects which take advantage of our marine potential, and so provide the opportunity for similar small islands to overcome spatial limitations. I understand that this sector faces a tough challenge when it comes to raising finance in view of the higher project complexity and associated risks when quantifying benefits in monetary terms, the Minister said.

He continued to explain that through awareness and education, we need to drive a cultural change which embraces energy efficiency as an essential part of our contribution towards a better environment.

Finally, the chosen solutions need to be fair for both citizens and businesses. Policies must ensure that nobody is left behind and that energy poverty is properly addressed, and businesses’ competitiveness sustained. This will ensure that the benefits are truly felt amongst our societies and support further economic growth and sustainable development. I’m sure that together we can contribute towards a better place to live in, for all, Minister Mizzi concluded.

Source: Government of Malta