Malta, along with Slovenia and Italy, has received a reasoned opinion from the EU Commission on the country’s failure to adopt EU rules on the use of renewable energy resources.
Primarily, directive 2009/28/EC promotes renewable energy resources by setting a binding target for each Member State, legally obliged to reach 32% of their energy supply from entirely renewable energy sources by 2030.
The directive also outlines measures to incentivise investment in renewable energy resources and simplify administrative processes related to equipment procurement.
“It also facilitates the participation of citizens in the energy transition and sets specific targets to increase the share of renewables in the heating and cooling and transport sectors by 2030,” according to the statement.
“In July 2021, the Commission sent letters of formal notice to all three Member States. To date, Italy, Malta and Slovenia have only partially transposed the Directive. They now have two months to comply with the transposition obligation and notify the Commission.”
While the letter of formal notice amounts to a warning, a reasoned opinion is a final step before the EU Commission can proceed to the European Court of Justice. Malta is facing at least three ongoing cases in court in which EU directives were breached.
During the same round of newly issued infringement proceedings for July, Malta has been referred to the European Court of Justice by the EU Commission for failing to provide data link services to aircraft operators. The latest infringement procedures against Malta add to 60 ongoing cases being pursued by the European Commission in Malta’s regard.
Generally, Malta falls behind its counterparts in the amount of renewable energy supplying its power grid. According to data compiled by Eurostat, for 2004 – 2020, Malta has consistently ranked in the bottom three in terms of the percentage of energy generated via renewable energy such as wind and solar power.
The Labour Party has, in its electoral manifesto, pledged that it will explore the possibility of creating an offshore renewable energy complex, a pledge that was more recently touted as a solution by energy minister Miriam Dalli.
Dalli’s statements, which she said were based on recently commissioned studies, directly clash with the government’s previous assessment of the feasibility of such a project. Malta’s 2030 National Energy & Climate Change plan, published in 2019, considered offshore wind energy as ‘not viable’.