Last week, Friends of the Earth Malta submitted their comments and feedback to the draft National Policy for the Deployment of Offshore Renewable Energy. Malta has one of the lowest RES shares in the EU, so there is a strong need to ramp up efforts, to reduce fossil fuel dependence and increase energy security. Given this, we are happy to see the government committing to accelerated ambitions for the transition to renewable energy sources (RES) and the ambition for the country to be climate neutral in 2050.
However, many questions remain unclear, including, for example, how will this increased ambition be translated into new targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 in the Low Carbon Development Strategy (published in 2021) and the National Energy and Climate Plan that is currently being updated?
In the feedback, FoEM underlines the potential of citizen participation in offshore RES. On the 4th of September 2023, together with the Malta Cooperative Federation, we organized an information session for government representatives on the topic of renewable energy cooperatives. Part of the discussion focused on the opportunity to include citizen participation in offshore renewable energy installations, with the example of SeaCoop, a citizen cooperative in Belgium participating in offshore renewables. SeaCoop`s model provides an excellent example for Malta to follow, to ensure that energy democracy can be part of the offshore renewable energy revolution.
In our comments, we emphasized that a streamlined permitting system should still include the necessary checks and balances to ensure that renewable energy projects do not cause excessive social and environmental impacts on marine ecosystems, and that they align with other obligations, including marine ecosystem protection.
Read the full feedback: