Gov­ern­ment launches up­dated na­tional re­new­able en­ergy ac­tion plan

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Gabriel Schem­bri

The gov­ern­ment has launched a new re­vised na­tional re­new­able en­ergy ac­tion for the years 20152020. This re­vised ver­sion will up­date the ac­tion plan which the gov­ern­ment had sub­mit­ted with the EU Com­mis­sion back in 2010.

The main el­e­ment of this re­vised doc­u­ment is that the gov­ern­ment’s re­new­able en­ergy plans will now be fo­cused on so­lar en­ergy and will dras­ti­cally re­duce the per­cent­age of wind en­ergy from the formula. In a de­tailed pre­sen­ta­tion at Castille, the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for En­ergy within the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter, Ron­ald Mizzi, ex­plained that this plan will lead to the 2020 tar­gets set up by the Euro­pean Union of 10% re­new­able en­ergy. So far, Malta has reached and even man­aged to ex­ceed th­ese tar­gets.

“The idea to have a new, up­dated ver­sion of the ac­tion plan for re­new­able en­ergy came along be­cause the gov­ern­ment felt the need to adapt with the new tech­nol­ogy and re­de­fine the roadmap which will lead to the year 2020,” he ex­plained.

Mr Mizzi said that the main aim of the ac­tion plan re­mains the same, to find cost ef­fi­cient, and sus­tain­able ways of pro­duc­ing en­ergy.

To come up with this ac­tion, the gov­ern­ment has set up a con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment. The plan is to increase the use of PV so­lar en­ergy from 0.7% to 4.7%. The use of wind en­ergy, how­ever, will de­crease from 4% to al­most 0%.

The rea­son for this shift from wind to so­lar came about be­cause of the lack of fea­si­bil­ity of wind farm projects, such as that of Sikka l-Ba­jda which was never ap­proved. In fact, the doc­u­ment states that wind farm projects will not be set up in the “fore­see­able fu­ture”. How­ever, this does not mean that wind en­ergy will be com­pletely out of the list of so­lu­tions. Wind en­ergy was side-lined also be­cause on­shore projects are now con­sid­ered un­likely due to en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns.

The pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion will be open un­til 1 De­cem­ber, 2016.

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