Malta planning offshore wind, floating solar tender and new interconnectors
The Parliament of Malta is discussing a new bill today, 10 July, which would facilitate the country’s first offshore wind and floating solar tender.
First introduced at a plenary session on 4 July, the bill seeking to amend the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Act is now being read before the Parliament for the second time, with a few more readings to go before reaching the final verdict. The proposed amendments would further regulate the EEZ areas and environmental protection zones, and would extend the applicability of certain laws and jurisdictional rights to the areas located beyond the territorial waters.
According to Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela, following the EEZ discussion in the Parliament, the country will issue an international call for tenders for offshore wind and floating solar.
Revealing the plan to launch the tender at a meeting with applicants for Malta’s Youth Advisory Forum on 7 July, Prime Minister Abela added that there are also plans for a second interconnector and a cooperation agreement with Libya on an interconnector that would transmit renewable energy between the two countries.
According to estimates by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition (OREAC), and World Bank-funded ESMAP, Malta has 25 GW of technical offshore wind potential, with the entire potential best suited to be tapped into using floating wind technology.
In October 2022, Times of Malta reported that the country’s environment ministry was working on developing a framework for floating wind and performing studies to identify the areas for offshore wind development. At the same time, the finance ministry was holding a preliminary market consultation to gauge interest in activities in Malta’s EEZ, according to the Maltese media.
While there are already plans for (floating) offshore wind farms near Malta, these are in Italian waters, where numerous applications for concessions have been submitted, including several for projects in the Malta Channel, offshore southern Sicily.