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Small island states, including Malta, come together in a bid to increase renewables

Malta is steadfastly working on its offshore renewables vision within the EEZ area, whilst analysing the possibility of closer-to-shore renewable projects.

Challenges brought about by climate change are commonly shared among small island states, including Malta. As a result, small island nations are coming together to work on common solutions that are innovative and can bring about positive results.

This was the main message shared by Minister for Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli during an event organised by Malta on the fringes of the COP28 meeting in Dubai, where the United Nations Climate Change Conference is being held.

Small island states are the countries facing the highest short-term risk of climate change disaster and disruptions to their energy supplies. Minister Dalli emphasised that small island states also share a unique advantage in that they are more agile in shaping and implementing policies.

“It is an advantage we must leverage upon to drive the adoption of emerging technologies and propel our transition towards a greener economy,” Minister Dalli told Ministers and policymakers gathered at the event.

Minister Dalli shared how, despite years of scepticism regarding the feasibility of offshore renewable energy in deep seas and also challenges related to the bathymetry around the islands, Malta has taken the plunge to start working on the possibility of establishing floating offshore wind farms in Malta within our exclusive economic zone.

“We are committed to maintain the momentum. A pre-market consultation for economic activities in Malta’s Exclusive Economic Zone last year attracted significant interest from investors in offshore wind technology,” she said. “We are also assessing the interest already shown during the public consultation on offshore renewables that we have carried out. Moreover, the Government is also looking at the possibility of developing renewable energy projects closer to shore.”

In comments following the discussion, Minister Dalli explained how island states like Malta all faced similar issues. “It is for this reason that we are looking at different alterantives on how to increase the use of renewable sources of energy. Discussions are underway which would eventually lead us to assess the interest of the private sector so that these projects become a reality,” she said.

Malta’s event was organised in collaboration with Global Solar Council, Global Renewable Alliance and the Greening Islands Foundation, bringing together Ministers from around the globe, representing small island states. They discussed the technical and economic feasibility of renewable energy, progress made as well as to determine how they can collaborate together through knowledge-sharing.

Malta has also joined forces with Greece in hosting a second event at COP28 to discuss ‘Greening the Islands’ and how the green and blue energy transition can be accelerated in the Mediterranean islands.