Malta and Energy saving

Facts about MALTA

Malta

Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso's Cave – The Maltese Islands are positively mythic. The narrow meandering streets of their towns and villages are crowded with Renaissance cathedrals and Baroque palaces. As the countryside is dotted with the oldest known human structures in the world, the Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum. The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean, with
Malta 93km south of Sicily and 288km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of just over 400,000 inhabitants, an area of 316sq km and a coastline of 196.8km
(not including 56.01 km for the island of Gozo).

Considering Malta's geographical location and high population density results in a strain on sustaining an adequate supply of energy. Completely dependent on fossil fuel supply, competitiveness and energy supply at affordable prices that is environmentally and economically sustainable development has always been a challenge.

There are 246,000 electricity customers in Malta, all of which are supplied by the vertically integrated company, Enemalta Corporation. The generation system consists of two heavy fuel oil power stations, which supply all the electrical power needs of the islands of Malta and Gozo through its two power stations, one at Marsa and the other at Delimara with an installed capacity of 267MW and 304MW respectively. The total electricity generated in Malta annually is around 2.2TWhr with the average Maltese person consuming 4.5 units of electricity per day. Malta's CO2 emissions from fuel combustion for electricity generation amount to 6.2 tonnes per capita.

The largest electricity consumer in the country is the domestic sector with a consumption of 35% of the total electricity. The next two largest consumers of electricity are the commercial sector, which accounts for 33% and industrial sector, which accounts for 30% of the electricity produced in Malta.

Energy efficiency has proven to be a profitable strategy as the way forward for Malta. Data for the past seven years shows that Malta's economy is becoming more energy efficient. This may be due to several factors, principally the introduction of energy efficient technologies and a change in the structure of production-oriented activities that focus on service. Acquisition of modern, energy efficient appliances for households that use less energy than older devices have also played a role.

Malta is blessed with high levels of sunshine and has one of the highest solar radiation indices amongst EU countries. This contributes to a high possible level of performance from solar water energy and PV panels for electricity generation. Our islands experience an adequate amount of sunlight for 80% of the year. Up to a few years back, Malta had very few photovoltaic installations. Today photovoltaic panels are mushrooming on our roofs together with solar water heaters. The government support schemes encourage their installation and this year (2011) also sees the introduction of the feed-in tariff where a customer can opt to sell the solar generated electricity to the grid and get a financial credit for it.