Overview

In recent years Malta has experienced a remarkable growth in terms of both economy and population. Despite the slowdown in 2009, the economy rebounded registering an average real economic growth rate equal to 7.1% between 2009 and 2017. From 2010 to 2017, the average annual growth rate of Malta’s population has amounted to 1.8%, which represents the second largest annual increase in the EU after Luxembourg. Population growth and the corresponding increased demand in the housing market, together with the growth of tourism, have all intensified pressure on restraining energy consumption.

Figure 1: Final energy consumption by sector in 2017 (normal climate)

Source: ODYSSEE

Malta has the second lowest final energy consumption per capita in the EU after Bulgaria. As an open, service-based economy, Malta is characterised by low energy intensity. The largest consuming sector is transport with 347 ktoe (58% of the total final energy consumption). The road transport sector remains heavily dependent on private cars as the principal means of transportation. The second largest sector is services (16%). The residential sector represents 14% of the total final energy consumption. Whilst a higher share of the population is now living in apartments as opposed to single unit buildings, higher expectations in relation to thermal comfort translates to more households resorting to air conditioners. 


[Note: All pre-2005 data is currently under review at the moment of this document’s publication] 


Figure 2: Technical Energy Efficiency Index

Source: ODYSSEE

Malta’s National Energy and Climate Plan (2021-2030) has enabled the Government to update its plan for energy savings. Numerous successful actions, which were already being undertaken in the previous plans, were kept, while other new measures were considered in order to achieve sustainable growth, and keeping, as far as possible, energy demand in check. Malta is doing its share to increase energy efficiency in the various end-use sectors and will continue to implement energy efficiency policies and measures. 

Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Street Lighting Retrofitting (All Malta)yesThe street lighting of Malta will be retrofitted with energy efficient lightingYearly energy savings of 78,639 kWh Link
Source: MURE

Buildings

Figure 3: Energy consumption by end-use per dwelling in 2017

Source: ODYSSEE

An average increase in household energy consumption of 5%/year was observed between 2010 and 2017. It can be mainly attributed to an increase in population (+2%/year), as well as due to an increasing number of appliances per dwelling reflecting economic growth. Heating requirements are on the lower end of the scale when compared to other Member States, whereas cooling is provided by heat pumps, which are already deemed as as being one of the most efficient technologies. 

Figure 4: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in households

Source: ODYSSEE

Figure 5 shows that in Services both electricity unit consumption and total energy consumption per employee have slightly decreased by an average of 1 %/year between 2010-2017 primarily due to the use of more efficient appliances. Electricity consumption consists mainly in air cooling, space heating and office equipment from 2010 to 2017. Electricity and energy consumption in the services sector has been steadily increasing primarily due to economic growth. 

Figure 5: Energy and electricity consumption per employee (normal climate)

Source: ODYSSEE

The local government has proposed several measures since 2014 to help improve the country’s energy consumption profile. The Energy saving measures implemented by the country include improvement of the building envelope and the incentivising of small-scale renewable systems such as solar PVs, solar water and heat pump water heating systems.  

Table 2: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the building sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Solar Water HeatersThis scheme aims at incentivising individuals to opt for solar water heaters in their households.Cumulative energy savings by 2017: 191,488 kWhLink
Source: MURE

Transport

Transport is by far the largest energy consuming sector in Malta. In 2017, the total energy consumption in the transport sector is made up of 56% energy consumption in road transport, 40% energy consumption in aviation and the rest in national navigation. There is no rail transport system in Malta. 

Figure 6: Split of the transport energy consumption by mode in 2017

Source: ODYSSEE

Passenger traffic in Malta is predominantly occupied by passenger cars, accounting for 79% of Malta’s fleet in 2017. This is reflected in Figure 7 with the increase in passenger traffic for cars and a consistent share for buses. Several initiatives were taken to promote alternative means of transport, including public transport.

Figure 7: Share of transport in passenger traffic

Source: ODYSSEE

Freight traffic in Malta is made up 100% of freight traffic on road as there is no rail network or waterways in Malta.

Figure 8: Share of modes in freight traffic

Source: ODYSSEE

Transport energy consumption breakdown for the 2000-2017 period (Figure 9) shows that the increasing consumption related to an increasing traffic of passengers (including air) and goods (the so called Activity effect) is only partially counterbalanced by technical energy savings. These savings reflect changes in the energy efficiency of the sector, as several sustainable mobility measures have been introduced in Malta, such as grants to promote the uptake of electric vehicles and a scrappage scheme targeting old inefficient vehicles. 

Figure 9: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in transport (2000-2017)

Source: ODYSSEE

A study is currently underway to evaluate the introduction of a Mass Rapid Transport Systems (MRT) for Malta. It includes an options analysis of all possible MRT solutions, including light rail. Results of the study should be delivered by the end of 2020. Currently, measures implemented in Malta focus on the removal of old vehicles from the fleet, or the the conversion of existing vehicles to LPG.

Table 3: Policies and measures into force in the transport sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Grant scheme to improve vehicle fleet efficiency‘Vehicle scrappage’ schemes are designed to incentivise owners to scrap old excessively fuel-consuming vehicles and replace them by new efficient vehicles thus reducing the number of old motor vehicles from the road. These schemes promote a high turnover of the vehicle fleet to take advantage of the progressively higher efficiency of new vehicle placed on the market. Cumulative energy savings by 2017: 28,275,319 kWh Link
Source: MURE