Malta, host of the 2nd Greening the Islands conference in 2015, has opened a new subsidy programme for solar plants in excess of 1 megawatt peak each in order to help the Mediterranean island meet its goals of getting 10% of total energy production from renewables.
The country’s National Action Plan for renewable energy, dating back to 2010, is falling short because some plants such as wind turbines were not installed for environmental grounds or other reasons. The island state now wants 4.7% of energy demand to come from solar PV by 2020.
“We are now looking towards the most abundant renewable resource in our country: the sun,” said Joe Mizzi, Minister for Energy and Water Management. “There is still a way to go for Malta to reach its 2020 targets.”
Investors will be invited by the ministry to bid for subsidies for their solar projects, for a total of €140 million over 20 years, with support provided in the form of a premium over the market power price. The new programme divides potential PV sites into 6 categories: quarries, industrial areas, disused landfills, land under a government concession, car parks and others. Each will have a separate price cap above which no bids can be accepted.
The first PV tranche totals 15 MW and further allocations are expected in 2018. PV installation smaller than 1 MW will continue to be supported through an existing feed-in tariff system.
According to the announcement, the installed capacity of solar panels in Malta has increased from 15.7 MW in 2012 to more than 100 MW this year. The Government targets to install an additional 90 MW of PV capacity.
“The Government is sure that the private sector will recognise this opportunity for investment and that together with the Government’s scheme, we will continue increasing our share of renewable energy, ensuring a cleaner and more sustainable environment,” added Mizzi.