Budget fails to address renewable energy priorities

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that while proposed budgetary incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency are welcome, it is clear that these are still not being considered a priority by the Government.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: “Positive budgetary proposals for usage of government property for solar energy and access to solar energy for persons who are denied such usage are vague. These policies need to be made concrete in terms of implementation, financing, and other factors. We also note that wind energy promises remain unimplemented”.

“The proposed budgetary reduction in the feed-in tariff, despite extension of the scheme in terms of number of years, will probably act as a disincentive to low to mid-income earners who would have been interested in investing in solar energy. All in all, it is clear that the budget does too little to stop Malta’s dependency on fossil fuels which are likely to face price increases in the years to come. This is a far cry from Malta’s EU target of 10% renewable energy by 2020”.

Ralph Cassar, AD spokesperson for Energy, Transport and IT, said: “It is worrying that government is not giving importance to renewable energy as a means of middle and low wage earners to control their energy consumption and energy bills. Government has reduced the feed-in tariff to make it one of the least attractive in the European Union. 18c per kWh is one of the lowest in the EU with only Estonia and Hungary having lower feed -in tariffs for PVs. The budget does not mention grants or schemes for middle and low income earners who do not have the possibility to pay up front.”

“While the government is stingy with middle and low income earners even when it comes to renewable energy, it is spending hundreds of millions in the BWSC power plant which uses dirty heavy fuel oil and generates tonnes of waste through its end-of-pipe pollution control technology.”