Spatial misfits in a multi-level renewable energy policy implementation process on the Small Island State of Malta

J.R. Kotzebue, Johannes T.A. Bressers, Charles Yousif

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One of the priorities of energy policies of the European Union (EU) is to generate 20% of EU's total energy consumption from renewable energy (RE) sources by 2020. The EU policy framework mainly emphasizes economical and technical aspects of RE sources, and promotes large scale projects. However the local implementation of RE EU policies can lead to spatial misfits if the policy implementation neglects the peculiarities of the place. It is important to understand the misfits and relationship between the EU RE policies and the local implementation process, as misfits can affect the policy implementation process and subsequently policy outcomes can be different from those intended, leading to inapt or inapplicable measures. This article presents findings of a qualitative in-depth study of Malta’s RE policy implementation. The paper shows that planning of central large-scale RE projects in Malta provokes land and marine use conflicts and can cause difficulties in implementation. The concerned key actors implement the policies according to their motivation, perception, and capacity, and the context in which they are embedded. Hence, both the EU RE policy framework and the national interaction process influence the implementation process, which can lead to spatial mismatches.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)5967-5976
JournalEnergy policy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • EU policy implementation
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Small Island State
  • IR-80178

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