Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency - MIEMA
OPENING OF THE BEL 05/04/2018, La Valletta
On the 5th of April, it was held in Valletta (Conference Center MSpace) the 1st meeting of the Regional Blue Energy Lab, organized within the framework of the MAESTRALE project. MIEMA (the Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency), as partner in the MAESTRALE project, organized this 1st meeting of the Maltese BEL with the aim to present MAESTRALE to public bodies and private organizations, having an interest in the development of marine-based renewable energy sources in Malta.
The meeting gathered 24 participants and included speeches by Mr Jason Bongailas from Malta Marittima, Professor Aldo Drago from the University of Malta - Physical Oceanography Unit, and Mr Stephen Micallef from the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST).
2nd BEL - 17 October 2018
Second BEL was organized on 17th October 2018: during the meeting special attention was paid to fostering synergies with the current activities of Malta Marittima– the national Agency tasked with the development of sea-related clusters in the Maltese Islands, as well as on a possible development of a blue energy cluster for Malta.
Discussions held within the BEL led to the identification of two pilot projects: one focusing on the production of biofuels from micro-algae expressly cultivated at sea, and one for exploiting marine thermal energy for the heating and cooling of coastal hotels and resorts. These pilots will be the subjects of two feasibility studies and of a more in-depth discussion during the next two BEL meetings.
3rd BEL - 1 August 2019
The 3rd Maltese Blue Energy Lab was organized on the 1st of August 2019 at the Europa House in Valletta - seat of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Malta.
The meeting was aimed at presenting the status of the MAESTRALE project and of the two pilots, with special regard to the project for the energy exploitation of marine biomass, illustrated by prof. Joseph Buhagiar of the University of Malta – Dept. of Biology, for the AquaBioTech Group that is in charge of preparing the feasibility study.
The meeting was attended by 12 persons, including delegates from National public bodies (the Malta Marittima Agency, the Planning Authority, the Energy and Water Agency) and local Councils, as well as a representative of the National Hub for WestMed. .
4th Regional Blue Energy Lab and Open Day
MIEMA, with the fundamental contribution of AquaBioTech Group, carried out on the 20th of September a one-day-long event including a training session on Blue Energy Entrepreneurship, combined with the fourth (and last) Regional Blue Energy Lab stakeholders’ meeting and an Open Day for the dissemination of project results to the general public. Attendees to the event included delegates from the Energy and Water Agency, the Malta Investment bank, Nature Trust Malta and the University of Malta.
The Training, performed by Prof. Joseph Buhagiar (University of Malta, Department of Biology) and Mr. George Mantas (AquaBioTech Group), was conceived as an effective alternation of short lectures and interactive sessions, aimed at transferring knowledge and raising awareness on the multiple aspects to be considered when dealing with Blue Energy: technologies, regulations, environmental issues, socio-economic considerations.
The Regional Blue Energy Lab (BEL) had a stronger focus on the MAESTRALE project, and especially on the two pilot projects identified for Malta: production of biofuels from algae and exploitation of marine thermal energy. AquaBioTech has been selected through a tendering procedure to assess the viability of these concepts in the Maltese Islands, and is in the process of finalizing the two feasibility studies that will constitute the final output of MAESTRALE. Discussion on pilot projects – started within the BEL – continued during an Open public meeting and highlighted the strong interest arisen by Blue Energy themes within the audience. The meeting also featured a presentation by Mr David Campbell (from UK-based company ALBATEL) on off-grid energy economics.