Degree of reliance on imported energy:
Currently almost all of Malta’s energy requirements are imported. Combined with Malta’s peripheral location and small market scale, this leaves Malta vulnerable to supply disruption and imported price volatility. Total energy imports for 2011 amounted to 914,891 toe, distributed between international aviation, bunkering and fuels consumed in the inland market.
Main sources of Energy:
The total electricity generated in 2011 produced by the two power stations owned by Enemalta from heavy fuel oil and gas oil and RES generators reached 2.177TWh in 2011. This represents an increase of around 2.96% over the previous year. The fossil fuel generation capacity is 551MW distributed in the two power stations owned by Enemalta. The shutdown of 210MW capacity is planned by the end of 2013. This capacity is being replaced partially by a new plant of 144MW to be in full operation by the end of the third quarter of 2012 and the 200MW interconnection between Malta and Sicily by the end of 2013. Both projects are necessary in order not to jeopardise security of supply.
There are no wholesale electricity markets in Malta. Enemalta Corporation has effectively 100% share of the electricity retail market. The electricity retail market is not open to competition and therefore customer switching is not possible in Malta.
The main use of fossil fuels in Malta is for the generation of electrical energy for onward distribution and consumption within the Maltese Islands. Electrical power is generated by two conventional thermal power stations owned by Enemalta Corporation and located in Marsa and in Delimara. These power plants utilise heavy fuel oil for conventional steam plant (boiler/turbo-generation) and gasoil for gas turbines.
Extent of the network:
The high-voltage (HV) network requires continuous development in order to meet the energy needs and expectations of the customer in a safe, secure and efficient manner which is both environmentally and economically sustainable. The high voltage (HV) network essentially consists of 132kV, 33kV and 11kV underground cables and overhead lines connected to the two power stations, the Distribution Centres (DC’s) and the Distribution Substations Large industrial and commercial establishments are connected directly to the distribution substations, whilst the small to medium industrial and commercial entities, and the domestic consumers are serviced through a low voltage network supplied from the distribution substations. The 132kV distribution network has been extended in order to connect to the electricity interconnector between Malta and Sicily. The extension of the network was necessary to be able to transmit and distribute the electricity imported. It will also be used to connect the supply from the proposed offshore wind-farm at Sikka il-Bajda to the network
Regarding electricity generators from renewable energy by the end of 2011 the PV capacity under construction was 10.7MW. The total PV capacity by the end of 2015 is projected to reach 26.8MW followed by 6.7MW in large scale wind capacity and 18MW waste to energy plants.
Enemalta as the DSO is responsible for the operational network security of the distribution system in Malta. In this role the DSO takes care of the protection system design and settings to ensure stability of the system during the faults that can occur in the system both on the generation and the distribution side. The fact that electricity system is not connected to any other system makes it vulnerable in terms of fault riding capability under certain fault conditions, in particular when the faults lead to loss of generation capacity.
Potential for Renewable Energy:
Malta has very high levels of sunshine, with the highest level of solar irradiation in the EU and this contributes to a high level of performance from solar water heaters. Malta is right in the centre of the Mediterranean and therefore experiences adequate sunlight for around 80% of the year.
The peak radiation occurs in summer and reaches a maximum of almost 8 kWh/m²/day, while in winter it drops to a minimum of 2.5 kWh/m²/day. This data compares favourably with other sites around the Mediterranean region and southern Europe.
The fact that Malta enjoys an abundance of sunshine and mild temperatures, coupled with other factors such as the existence of flat roofs as the standard way of building and the recent trend of increased power consumption in summer due to air conditioning, all favour the application of solar photovoltaics on a wide scale.
The practical onshore and offshore wind resource potential could supplement almost 9% of the country’s electricity generation. Wind power contribution is expected in the year 2020 from onshore wind (15 MW and 38 GWh) and offshore wind (95 MW and 216 GWh).
Despite the benefits associated with wind energy, the potential to exploit such clean non-fossil energy is constrained by the limited availability of land and deep coastal waters around Malta. Onshore wind farms are restricted through planning and environmental constraints, visual and natural impacts, lack of road access as well as possible obstructions with airport operations. Meanwhile, the potential for offshore wind farms is at present only possible in shallow waters as technology for the exploitation of deep waters wind farms is still under-developed. As the Maltese waters are generally deep, the installation of shallow water wind farm is restricted.
Enemalta Corporation has investigated the possible use of bio-liquids in the combustion boilers of its power stations which currently use HFO. Tests have been carried out using different bio-liquids, both separately and as a mix with HFO. The station boilers can be adapted to use such fuels at relatively low cost.
The main problem encountered is the lack of certainty in the supply of such bio-liquids and their inconsistency in calorific value and quality. The more expensive bio-liquids are fairly consistent in quality, but the extra costs involved tend to make them highly uncompetitive. Lack of consistency and the uncertainty in supply availability implies that combustion parameters need to be adjusted whenever the fuel is changed. This in turn implies periods of inefficient operation with increased emissions.
Three sources of methane (CH4) are considered in the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory (Government of Malta 2004). The sewage treatment plant at Sant’ Antnin produces a considerable amount of sludge, originally intended to go into the compost being produced on site. However, due to the presence of heavy metals, the sludge is not being used for this purpose.
A second source is animal waste from pigs, cattle and poultry, a fraction of which is applied to agricultural land as manure (cattle and poultry), while the rest (pig slurry) is disposed of into the sewage system. A third source resides in the organic component of municipal solid waste, which is being deposited in a landfill at present. With proper treatment of the whole of the material available, one could reach 20 Gg of CH4 per annum. This represents 1.11 x 109 MJ over a year, equivalent to 308,333 MWh thermal and, in a 40% efficiency turbine, 123,333 MWh electric representing some 5.6% of total electricity generated in 2003.
Potential for Energy Efficiency:
44.1% of total final energy consumption in Malta in 2010 was made up by the transport sector (44.1%). Through to 2016, the buildings sector offers the largest opportunity for energy savings by a considerable margin, with 108.2 GWh of energy savings expected in the sector by 2016, contributing to an overall target of 378 GWh. These will be achieved predominantly through the distribution of energy saving lamps, and ongoing incentives for the uptake of residential micro-generation for solar and wind systems. In transport, significant potential for energy savings has been identified through the promotion of public transport, and renewal of the island’s vehicle fleet, two policy streams which the current National Energy Efficiency Action Plan supports.
Enemalta Corporation remains the main producer of electricity in Malta with the exception of a small contribution from a number of relatively small producers generating electricity from renewable energy. There is no transmission system and no transmission system operator in Malta. The function of the distribution system operator is being carried out by Enemalta. The latter is also responsible for the implementation of the electricity interconnection Malta–Sicily. In Malta the generation, distribution and supply of electricity are at present carried out by one vertically integrated company, Enemalta Corporation.
There is no natural gas in Malta.
Structure / extent of competition:
The year 2011 marks the entry into force of the Electricity Market Regulations (LN166/11) which transposes the Directive 2009/72/EC into national legislation. The Directive 2009/73/EC on the implementation of the natural gas market was also transposed to national law by the Natural Gas Market Regulations (LN167/11); however, there is no natural gas market in Malta.
Enemalta is the main generator and the only supplier of electricity in the market. The existing independent producers are small and generating electricity from renewable energy either for own consumption or to sell to Enemalta. Presently only the generation plant owned by Enemalta is subject to dispatch. In the absence of large independent producers and/or wholesale market the balancing between generation and demand is done by Enemalta as part of its daily operations to meet demand. As such there is no market for balancing services and no separate charges for such service.
The Electricity Market Regulations have to be seen in the light of the derogations granted to Malta by virtue of Article 44 of Directive 2009/72/EC from the requirements of certain articles of the directive. These derogations concern the following articles, namely:
- Article 9: Unbundling of transmission systems and transmission system operators
- Article 26: Unbundling of distribution system operators
- Article 32: Third-party access
- Article 33: Market opening and reciprocity
The retail market of electricity is therefore not open for competition with Enemalta Corporation remaining the sole licensed supplier of electricity to final customers. There is no wholesale market for electricity. All the customers of electricity are on a regulated retail tariff and there were no changes in this aspect in the year under review. In view that there is only one supplier of electricity customer switching is not possible to implement.
There is only one distribution system and no transmission systems or transmission system operators in Malta. The function of the distribution system operator is carried out by Enemalta Corporation. By virtue of Article 44-Derogations, the requirements of Article 9 (Unbundling of the transmission systems and transmission system operator) and Article 26 (Unbundling of distribution system operators) do not apply to Malta. There has not been any designation and/or certification of transmission system operators and no requests for certification from transmission system owners or operators controlled by persons or persons in third countries during the year under review.
Existence of an energy framework and programmes to promote sustainable energy:
Malta together with all other European Union member states have agreed on legally binding national targets for increasing the share of renewable energy, so as to achieve a 20 % share for the entire Union by 2020. Malta has on its part committed to a renewable energy share target of 10%.
The Energy Policy for Malta has been published in December 2012. The policy is based on three overriding and horizontal objectives; security of supply, competitively priced energy services and environmental responsibility. The policy addresses these objectives in six policy areas:
- Energy efficiency
- Reducing reliance on imported fuels
- Stability in energy supply
- Reducing the emissions from the energy sector
- Delivering energy efficiently and effectively
- Ensuring that the energy sector can deliver
In addressing the country’s energy challenge, Malta’s energy policy is significantly influenced by a number of EU energy and environmental policies. The targets set by the relevant EU Directives for Malta are as follows:
- Energy End Use Efficiency: 9% by 2016;
- Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU: 22% by 2020 (refer to Annex 1)
- Renewable Energy Target: 10% of final energy consumption by 2020;
- Bio-fuel contribution in the fuel mix: 10% of final energy consumption of fuels by 2020;
- Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2010/31/EU: Tightening of existing minimum standards as from 2013 and a further tightening by 2017.
- By 2018 Public Authority Buildings will qualify for nearly zero energy buildings
- Reduction in GHG emissions under Effort Sharing Decision: +5% over 2005 levels by 2020.
Malta Enterprise Energy Grant Scheme
Malta Enterprise, the national economic development agency responsible for promoting and facilitating investment in Malta, launched a scheme in 2009 under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2007-2013 programme. Proactive businesses could invest in solutions to reduce the impact of energy costs on their business. Grants covering expenditures related to energy from renewable sources and energy efficiency measures were provided. Three grant schemes were launched between 2009 and 2010 where enterprises could benefit from up to a 50% grant on the capital investment, capped to a maximum of €100,000. Investments eligible for grants included energy saving solutions and lighting, such as the installation of intelligent lighting systems, solar heating, thermal insulation, building management systems and energy-saving lighting. Malta Enterprise also provided the services of subsidised energy auditing by professionals available to the industry. These audits are intended to indicate in a structured way feasible measures for efficiency in energy end-use.
Solar Water Heaters
Since 2005, Government launched a number of grant schemes to promote the use of solar water heaters (SWH) for households. These gave a rebate on the purchase price of solar water heaters. This amounted to 20% in the first grant scheme, launched in 2005, and was capped at a maximum of €116.48. Uptake was rather low. In 2006 the maximum rebate was doubled to €232.94 and the uptake of SWH tripled with an average of 1,700 SWH per year. The later scheme lasted until 15 February 2009.
Subsequently, in 2009, Government increased the rebate further to 66% of eligible costs up to a maximum of €460. This yielded a penetration of 3,500 solar water heaters per year. In 2010, a fourth scheme for solar water heaters was launched giving a 40% rebate to a maximum of €560 on eligible costs on approved systems and installations. This scheme saw the sales of solar water heaters decrease since eligibility was restricted. Two new schemes were launched in 2011. One funded through 85% ERDF funds and 15% national funds and the other totally from national funds: the grant is 40% up to a maximum of €400. The penetration of solar water heaters for households as at the end of 2010 is estimated at 15,119 installations with a calculated solar heat capture of 28 GWh.
Feed-in tariff for PV Installations
The introduction of a feed-in tariff for solar Photovoltaic systems in the residential and non-residential sectors (combined with a capital grant) in 2010 through LN 422/2010 has contributed to the uptake of photovoltaic installations. Prior to these regulations coming into force there was a net metering arrangement for PV systems. It is no longer available for PV systems approved after the establishment of the feed-in tariffs. Under the net metering arrangement any units exported in excess of those imported from the grid are paid at rate of 7c/kWh. Feed-in tariffs as per LN 422/2010 are paid only for units produced from PV systems and exported to the grid. Owners of the photovoltaic systems were given the option to either consume the electricity they produce on site and export only the surplus, or else export all the electricity produced, subject to the conditions of the feed-in tariff regulations.
Current energy debates or legislation:
In 2013, government took a policy decision such that as from spring of the year 2015 the base load demand should be procured by Enemalta from an Independent Power Producer with the generation plant located in Malta using natural gas. The generation plant which is expected to consist of high efficiency CCGT and the infrastructure required for the provision of natural gas in Malta will be built and operated by private investors. The same gas infrastructure would also supply the new 149MWdiesel engine plant with natural gas once the necessary conversion to
enable the use of this fuel takes place. An Expression of Interest was launched in April 2013 and eleven interested parties have been shortlisted. The shortlisted parties will be receiving a request for proposal. The final selection of the private investor and project is expected to occur by the end of September 2013.
The issue of supply of LNG has brought about an in-depth public debate on the type, size and location of the LNG storage tanks, as well as the method of delivery and discharge. Malta’s energy needs for LNG are a drop in the ocean when compared to the capacity other larger countries consume. It is a well-known fact in energy circles that the bigger the generating plant, the better the chances one has in negotiating a more aggressive price for the supply of LNG because of the bigger volumes.
Malta unfortunately does not have huge volumes of LNG to consume, so similarly to what happens at the moment with the delivery of heavy fuel oil and gas oil, the transportation of LNG by sea will need smaller LNG carriers, and not many of these exist worldwide according to local experts. This creates a critical supply chain issue not only from a price point of view but also from the method of discharge to be adopted.
The current national energy debate seems to be degenerating into a ‘how-low-can-you-go’ price competition. National energy decisions are long-term commitments which not only involve significant capital investments but will commit the country to a particular energy source for many years.
In addition, the environmental effects and social issues must be analysed in depth prior to taking any energy decisions. Seeking to lower electricity rates too soon and too fast could push national energy decisions into being short-sighted, expensive and ultimately wrong decisions.
Major energy studies:
European Energy Network
Malta is member of the EnR, which is a voluntary network of European energy agencies which aims at promoting sustainable energy good and best practice. EnR also strengthens cooperation between members and other key European actors on all sustainable energy issues (energy efficiency, sustainable transport and renewable energy).
Role of government:
The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) is the national agency responsible for land use planning and environmental regulation in Malta. Established under the mandate of the Environment Protection Act (2001) and the Development Planning Act (1992) of the Laws of Malta, MEPA is also responsible for the implementation of around 200 Directives, Decisions and Regulations under the EU Environmental Acquis.
In addition, MEPA acts as the national focal point under a number of international environmental conventions and multilateral agreements, including the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.
Government agencies in sustainable energy:
Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs (MRRA)
The Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs (MRRA) is responsible for the development and overseeing of Malta’s renewable energy policies. The MRRA’s responsibilities include the development of alternative energy sources and climate change policy.
Malta Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energies Association (MEEREA)
The main objectives of MEEREA - Malta Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energies Association are to support all efforts to:
- Promote discussion on energy related issues among energy actors including consumers and energy decision makers in Malta.
- Support the organization of training courses for energy actors and energy decision makers in Malta.
- Promote the implementation of dissemination (marketing, promotion) activities.
- Promote sustainable energy policies that emphasize energy efficiency and use of renewable energies in Malta.
- Facilitate information exchange among energy related actors.
- Strengthen the cooperation between Maltese energy actors and those in the Mediterranean countries and EU member states.
Areas of expertise: dissemination of information, advice on specific energy issues, energy auditing, promotion of technology, energy efficiency in buildings, small wind farms, solar energy.
Energy planning procedures:
The additions in generation capacity during the timeframe 2015 to 2019 will concern generators producing electricity from renewable energy sources in line with the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP). In line with this plan the installed renewable electricity generation capacity is projected to reach 155MW by 2017 and is projected to remain at this level at least until 2020. The renewable electricity generation capacity is planned to consist of 18% PV capacity, 71% wind and 11% waste to energy plants. The most predictable in terms of output are the waste to energy plants. The favourable local climate conditions make the PV output is also quite predictable especially in the spring and summer season. Electricity generation from wind is expected to introduce the major intermittency in the system and in this regard the interconnector is expected to contribute to provide the necessary balancing services.
The government recently announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Power Investments Corporation (CPIC), one of the five largest state-owned electricity producers in China. As part of the agreement, Shanghai Electric Power, a subsidiary of CPIC will become a minority shareholder in Enemalta, providing the Maltese utility company with a cash injection that will improve its financial position. Enemalta and CPIC also plan to set up a joint venture to produce photo-voltaic units for sale in Malta and across the EU, which would help Malta reach its renewable energy production targets, while providing China with a foothold in the European solar energy market.
Under the 2009 National Energy Policy, the construction of a 2x100MW HVDC electricity interconnection to Sicily was seen as the best option for developing the Maltese electricity grid, partly due to the potential for cheaper reserve capacity than using indigenous generation, and also for the improvement in the potential for integration of large, intermittent renewable energy sources.
Distribution grid planning is the responsibility of Enemalta, the distribution system operator. Enemalta is required to take a number of factors into account, including energy efficiency, demand-side management measures, and distributed generation, as alternative measures to grid extension, applicable to all types of generation. According to par. DPC5.4 of the Network Code, distribution system planning reports must be presented by Enemalta to the MRA (the national energy regulator) every two years, covering a 5-year period, detailing the plans for meeting predicted demand for electricity supplied through the distribution network, and improving supply reliability to customers. The latest plan includes schemes for the distribution of smart meters and SCADA systems.
Energy regulator Date of creation:
The Malta Resources Authority (MRA), which falls under the MRRA, is the main body responsible for the regulation and monitoring of the energy7 sector in Malta. It was set up in the year 2000 under the Malta Resources Authority Act XXV (as amended by Act XII of 2007).
Degree of independence:
MRA was set up as an autonomous regulator independent from the corporations that provide resources.
Regulatory framework for sustainable energy:
The Subsidiary Legislation 423.46 regulates the feed-in tariffs for electricity produced by PV system. The feed-in tariffs regulations were introduced for the first time on the 10th September 2010. The net metering arrangement is no longer an option for PV system approved after this date.
Malta introduced FiTs for different sectors (25 Euro cents per kilowatt-hour for RES-E generated by Maltese Residents, 28 Euro cents for residents living in the Island of Gozo and 20 Euro cents for industrial and commercial entities), however, this is not reported in the NREAP What’s more, these FiTs are only valid for 8 years and there is no indication on what will happen afterwards.
Article 4 of the MRA Act establishes the functions of the Authority and gives wide ranging responsibilities essentially involving regulation of practices, operations and activities in the energy, water and minerals sectors.
MRA is responsible for climate change, and has the function to promote energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy. The structure of the Authority includes the following sections under the responsibility of the CEO:
- Climate change and policy with responsibility for climate change (adaptation, mitigation, EU reporting), national policy, renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency;
- Regulation with responsibility for regulatory instruments, price structure regulation, hydrogeology, EU affairs and ICT;
- Utility regulation with responsibility for utility (Enemalta and WSC) regulation and licensing;
- Finance and corporate services with responsibility for finance and corporate services;
- Competence, licensing and enforcement with responsibility for licensing, enforcement, customer care, MEPA/IPPC consultations and aid schemes.
Role of government department in energy regulation:
No government department takes an active role in energy regulation.
In order to achieve the 13.8% RES-E target, the basic elements of the FiT must be consolidated. There is an urgent need to provide a long term vision in this respect.
The mandatory integration of renewable energy in new and renovated buildings must be assured and energy performance in buildings regulations should also be enforced. A number of support schemes that were introduced in the past should be revised and improved.
Transport will remain a major challenge unless specific regulatory measures are introduced. The availability of ready-mixed bio-diesel fuels at filling stations would help to avoid errors and shorten filling-up time. The decision for the elimination of lead replacement fuels from Malta by next year is to be commended. A more aggressive plan is needed to promote the use of electric vehicles. It is imperative that serious plans be set up for Malta to be able to reach the RES-T target during the remaining 10 years.
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