The Malta Independent 7 June 2023, Wednesday
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TMID Editorial: The Mediterranean and renewable energy

Saturday, 20 May 2023, 09:18 Last update: about 18 days ago

Nine European states, including Malta, have agreed to collaborate to turn the Mediterranean into a hub for green energy, particularly renewable energy.

Renewable energy is the way forward for energy generation, and it is good to see nations taking this more seriously than they did in the past.

"The Med region countries are endowed with the ability to generate renewable energy from wind and solar resources. Coupled with the necessary interconnecting infrastructures, the region has the potential to export green energy such as renewables supplied to other geographies such as other EU partners including North Africa," a joint declaration the nine states signed reads.

The nine states, in the declaration, also said that they are seeking to prioritise investments towards the deployment of renewable energy solutions such as the offshore renewable systems and solar PV power generation systems.

During the meeting, Energy Minister Miriam Dalli had said that Malta is considering floating offshore renewables as the technology "that can help us make the leap needed to ensure a higher share of renewables in our energy mix."

"Malta has carried out a Pre-Market Consultation and we are currently finalising a policy document focusing on the deployment of offshore renewable energy systems. This will then lead to the identification of potential zones for implementing offshore renewable energy and the eventual launch of an Expression of Interest for the first ever floating renewable energy projects."

Focusing on increasing the energy Europe brings in from renewables will bring about cleaner air, the creation of green jobs, less reliability on outside sources for energy and, most importantly, be good for the environment. Eurostat statistics show that in 2021, the lowest proportions of renewables were recorded in Luxembourg (11.7%), Malta (12.2%), the Netherlands (12.3%), Ireland (12.5%) and Belgium (13%).  Malta needs to improve its percentage and working on such a policy should help.

What one must take into consideration, however, is that if installing floating offshore wind farms for instance, one does not create eyesores close to the coast or in picturesque areas. So identifying what the best type of renewable energy to go for and locations for their placement will be very important. One will now await the policy document that the government is drafting.

Through the declaration signed by the MED9 European states, they confirmed their commitment "to ensure continuous efforts to improve energy security, energy affordability and to accelerate the transition towards renewable energy."

It also states that they will “actively explore how we could develop cooperation with North Africa in addressing energy transition challenges and solutions, including cooperation in green energy production, storage, and transport/trade.”

Collaborating with states outside of the EU on green energy is a worthwhile endeavour, and if there is a collaborative effort by Mediterranean countries to head in this direction, it would be beneficial for all states involved.




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