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Malta identifies six floating offshore wind areas

Map Malta’s Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise
Malta’s Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise has issued a draft National Policy for the Deployment of Offshore Renewable Energy, showcasing six areas suitable for floating offshore wind.

The policy document highlights Malta’s technical potential for offshore renewable energy, specifically wind and solar projects lying beyond territorial waters and within Malta’s potential Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 70,000km2.

The majority of areas which could potentially host offshore renewable energy projects are situated within deep waters, therefore are not suitable for fixed-bottom turbines. Floating foundation structures are the most appropriate, and determining the technical potential for this is linked to two main technical study requirements. These relate to the identification of appropriate areas for the deployment of renewable energy generation technologies, and the determination of the wind resource potential within the identified areas.

The Energy and Water Agency conducted a preliminary exercise in order to determine the potential for offshore wind energy generation from a technological and spacial constraint perspective. This study examined the availability of zones which have a minimal impact on completing uses within Malta’s Territorial Waters, as well as the sea beyond the territorial waters and within 25NM from the baselines. This was then combined with 33-year modelled wind resource data to identify preferred zones.

These zones are intended to guide prospective project developers towards appropriate sites. The primary purpose of the action plan is to fairly grant specific rights and obligations in EEZ areas for new commercial offshore renewable project developments. While the Maltese offshore policy will not be limited to one specific technology, it is expected that major developments will initially take place in offshore wind technology.

The agreement will allow developers rights to construct and operate offshore renewable projects subject to them obtaining all necessary permits, licences, clearances and approvals from the relevant national authorities.

The Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise recognises that Malta has limited related industries and ports for large infrastructure projects and understands aspects of constructing renewable energy projects will be challenging.

The National Policy for the Deployment of Offshore Renewable Energy will guide the participation process of various economic players, administration and citizens who will be putting forward their contributions. This policy shall also be subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to assess the environment impacts of the range of development scenarios
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For more information about offshore wind farm projects across the globe, click here.

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