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Title: Renewable energy and efficiency development programming in Malta
Other Titles: EU energy law, volume III : renewable energy in the member states of the EU
Authors: Yousif, Charles
Keywords: Renewable energy sources -- Malta
Energy policy -- Malta
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Claeys & Casteels Law Publishers
Citation: Yousif, C. (2018). Renewable energy and efficiency development programming in Malta. In D. Fouquet (Ed.), EU energy law, volume III : renewable energy in the member states of the EU (pp. 813-843). Devemer: Claeys & Casteels Law Publishers.
Abstract: Malta is a small island-state in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, with a total area of 316 km2 and a population of 440,500 (2017). Geographically speaking, it is the most southern EU Member State and is only about 300 kilometres from North African shores. Malta's electricity generation profile fulfilled the definition of a 'small, isolated electricity system' as understood in the context of the EU Directive 2003/54/EC, since the level of electricity generation had not exceeded the 3,000 GWh/ annum for the base year of 1996 and it was not connected to the European electricity network. However, as of March 2015, Malta started operating its first underwater electricity interconnector to 'the European network grid through Sicily, Italy and this practically ended Malta's insularity vis-a-vis electricity supply. The Central Government is the sole policy maker and therefore energy planning is carried out on a National level only. The Malta Resources Authority (MRA) - which was set up in 2000 - had the role of regulating, implementing and monitoring the energy, water and mineral resources policies. In July 2015, a new entity was set up to regulate' energy and water, thus relieving the MRA from its responsibilities in these areas. The new Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) was set up by the Regulator for Energy and Water Services Act XXV of 2015 On the other hand, the Sustainable Energy and Water Conservation Unit (SEWCU) -later changed to the Energy and Water Agency by means of Legal Notice 340/2016 - has been set up as a government agency that focuses on formulating policies on energy and water, which include the monitoring and updating of plans to meet EU energy and renewable energy targets, that Malta has to attain. Meanwhile the sole energy operator Enemalta pic has undergone major changes in its structure, after a new government came into power in March 2013. In December 2014, 33% of the shares of Enemalta were sold to the Chinese firm Shanghai Electric Power. The deal also included the setting up of two new companies, to invest in renewable energy projects outside the Maltese territories and to manage the power stations that Shanghai Electric Power intends to build in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Gulf region and North Africa, respectively. The first joint venture known by the name of the International Renewable Energy Development Ltd. has already embarked on a new 46 MW wind energy project in Montenegro. The second company, International Energy Services Centre Ltd., is working on a plan for making business in the regions mentioned above. It is to be noted that Enemalta pic has only kept the monopoly on transmission and distribution of electrical power. However, this may also require reconsideration, given that Malta's grid has now been interconnected with the EU grid in March 2015, via the 200 MV underwater cable. According to the EU derogation of 28 November 2006, whereby Malta was exempted from certain provisions of Directive 2003/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, major changes in the local infrastructure may require a revision of this decision. Up to the end of 2015, the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) controlled the sustainable development of land while protecting the environment. However, a new Act no. VII of 2016 dated 26th January 2016, has created a demerger, whereby the new Planning Authority has been separated from the new Malta Environment Authority. The Planning Authority is now under the portfolio of the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, while the Environment Authority has now been assigned to the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, which was set up after the general election in 2013. Besides this major change, a 2015 update of the Development Control Policy and Design Guidance has been published. This is a legal document that sets the mandatory general policies for development of buildings. The document also provides guidelines which are meant as an aid to encourage creativity, innovation, and suggest alternative solutions for development of land and urban areas, keeping in mind aesthetics and the effects on the contextual environment. Another important part of this guideline focuses on technical details which consist of a list of mandatory standards to ensure high quality development. The document also specifically deals with add-ons to a building such as solar panels. It is noted that unlike the previous Design Guidance 2005, strict restrictions have been imposed on retrofitting solar thermal and photovoltaic systems on flat rooftops. These restrictions were meant to curb the previous malpractice of installing unsightly solar systems. The end result is that solar systems would produce less energy, caused by un-avoided shading of perimeter walls or nonoptimum inclination and dirt accumulation on panels that are inclined at a low angle of elevation. The ex-Malta Standards Authority has also undergone major structural changes in 2011. It is now known by the name of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA). Besides its original mandate for managing the European Eco-Label Scheme and the National Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), as well as implementing European standards in the local context, it is also managing all consumer affairs matters, including but not limited to competition, complaints and fair trading. It has four main offices on Competition, Consumer Affairs, Technical Regulations and Standardisation and Metrology. This last office includes the Standardisation, the Metrology and the Laboratory Services Directorates. It now falls under the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government. The MCCAA Standards and Metrology Institute has ventured in the area of renewable energy and produced two national standards in 2015. SM5100:2015 is concerned with single-phase electrical safety of solar photovoltaic systems, while SM5200:2015 focused on the general safety requirements for photovoltaic installations, which includes structural safety, wind loading, besides others. Other Authorities that might have leverage for particular energy projects, especially with regards to offshore wind energy projects, are listed below: The Malta Maritime Authority (effect on bunkering activities, approach to harbour and effect on marine environment); The Malta Communications Authority and the Armed Forces of Malta (with regards to aviation traffic, approach paths to the airport, radar interference and shielding); The Malta Tourism Authority (interference with diving sites); Oil Exploration Department (effect on potential oil drilling sites).
ISBN: 9789081690478
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - InsSE

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