€26 million investment for large scale renewable energy project a ‘golden opportunity’ – Miriam Dalli

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 July, 2021 at 1:02 pm by Andre Camilleri

A €26 million investment, over the span of 20 years, has been allocated for a large-scale renewable energy project in which investors have a “golden opportunity” to show their interest, Minister for Energy and Enterprise, Miriam Dalli said today.

Malta is ramping up its efforts to have more sustainable and cleaner energy production in the country, as the world adjusts to climate realities through various accords such as The Paris Agreement.

Dalli remarked that the government wants to invest in renewable energy and “it is the promise we made, and this is the promise we are implementing today through this scheme.”

The minister remarked that through a series of schemes, the Government is working to obtain energy in a more sustainable way. The current aim of the country when it comes to renewable energy sources stands at 11.5%, but the Minister remarked that the country will not only seek to reach that goal, “but do everything it can to surpass it.”

Dalli remarked that two months ago, the Government announced investment incentives for sustainable energy “which generate a 40kw peak up to 1mw peak”. These projects add up to a total of 31mw, she said. This means that an investment of €50 million in the span of 20 years would be spent in such renewable energy projects.

This investment is spread among 10 invitations which are open until July 2022, and up until now, the Government has already released 2 of these 10 invitations. “We issued an invitation for those interested in the project which generated 40kw and 100kw, and another invitation for a project which generates from 200kw to 1mw,” the Minister remarked.

The interest was rife, the minister observed, as an allocation that already surpasses a 4mw peak has already been reached. “When we see this amount of interest, this encourages us to announce more invitations for renewable energy projects with more thrust and with open hands,” she said.

With this project today, the minister remarked that they are aiming for installations of more than 1mw and with a total capacity of 16mw. “I believe this is a golden opportunity for those investors who want to invest in the installation in large places, such as barriers, landfills which are not being used anymore, industrial land, roofs, and car parks, amongst others.”

This investment would amount to €26 million in the span of 20 years, the Minister remarked. The financial aid through the feed in tariff will be set for a median of 12.7c for every kw which varies according to the category of installation.

“To give an example, in case of an installation in a car park, the maximum allocation is of 16.7c, while in Government land which would be passed over to private investors through a concession, this would have a maximum of 8.4c,” the minister noted.

These feed in tariffs are calculated and based on technical calculations which were made, Dalli said, “which base themselves on different types of installations which we would have evaluated.”

The minister said that later today, the list of maximum financial aid provided by the government through the feed in tariff will be published, which happened after a “technical analysis so to be just with the investors and at the same time ensure a practical and factual return to the Government.” These will be published on the regulatory website for energy and water, as well as through a Government statement.

When combining what was announced today with what was announced two months ago, the Government is allocating a capacity of 47mw through renewable energy sources and with an investment of €76 million in total for a 10-year period. “That is why I say we are ambitious,” Dalli said.

The minister noted that consultation with various stakeholders took place, as the Government wanted to avoid a situation “where the big and small investors end up competing and creating an imbalance.”

“We also wanted to ensure that investors remain interested in these projects and commit themselves to these projects.

Dalli remarked that the Government wanted to assist investors to plan ahead as well, so there will be a period of three months between 6th August and 5th October where the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) will be open to receiving the applications. More details can be found on their website.

The schemes were designed from scratch, Dalli noted, so that the Government “can be of help for those who are genuinely serious and is committing himself and wants to invest in this field.”

The minister noted that systems of bid bonds and performance guarantee were also established so that investments are assured. 

With this project, Dalli pointed out that Malta will be hitting four targets as proposed by the United Nations, which are affordable and clean energy, betterment of infrastructure and innovation in this industry, responsible production and consumption, as well as addressing climate change.

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