Malta: Solar Water Heaters used by half of the Households by 2020

The Malta Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energies Association (M.E.E.R.E.A.) has taken on the drafting of the roadmap to ensure the future development of renewable energy sources on the sunny island in the Mediterranean Sea. M.E.E.R.E.A. is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation established in June 2001.

The association has about 20 members to date – companies and stakeholders from different renewable sectors. The association's Secretary-General, Charles Yousif, had developed a roadmap for all renewable sectors up to 2020 and, in December 2009, presented it at an association workshop organised by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) in Brussels. The researcher from the Institute for Sustainable Energy of the University of Malta differentiated between three different scenarios: low, medium and high market penetration of renewable energies.  

 Scenarios for Malta” Scenarios drafted by Charles Yousif, Secretary General of the Malta Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energies Association (M.E.E.R.E.A.) Figure: Charles Yousif

“The low scenario – a business-as-usual scenario - will bring us before the Court in Brussels, because we will not have reached the necessary 2020 target for Malta”, explains Yousif. The medium penetration scenario will achieve the target. This scenario assumes that 50 % of the households in Malta (meaning 130,000) will have a solar water heater by 2020 (saving 120 GWhel). Hence, 65,000 systems will have to be installed until 2020. A big step forward - compared to the estimated 15,000 systems that have been installed by the end of 2009.

The electricity savings are based on a study Yousif carried out together with other researchers at his university some years ago - analyzing the “performance of water-in-glass evacuated tube solar heating systems” (see attached document). The monitored system could save 1,650 kWhth/year - or 1,840 kWhel annually, assuming a 90% efficiency of the electric water heater common in most of Malta's households.

The low scenario calculates with only 25 % of the households producing their hot water with the sun (saving 60 GWhel), the high scenario reckons with 80 % of the households and some hotels using solar thermal technology (saving 210 GWhel).

The Malta Resources Authority (MRA) is in charge of drafting the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) on behalf of the government. Working groups have already been formed and the governmental body has promised to publish the first draft of the NREAP by the end of January.

The next milestone will be the workshop “Renewable Energy Plan for Malta: Roadmap towards 2020”, which will be organized by (M.E.E.R.E.A.) in cooperation with the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC). “We will bring all stakeholders together and also invite MRA to hold a speech”, explains Yousif. The university researcher appreciates the framework of the REPAP2020 project, whose intention is it to bring together national stakeholders and representatives of governments in order to develop road maps under the guidance of international experts.

More information:
Malta Resources Authority (MRA):
Malta Energy Efficiency & Renewable  Energies Association (M.E.E.R.E.A.):


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