The Malta Independent 20 January 2022, Thursday

Gozo has the potential to become a clean energy island – Miriam Dalli

Sunday, 5 November 2017, 11:23 Last update: about 5 years ago

Gozo has the potential to become an environmentally clean island and to serve as a successful pilot project for innovative energy solutions, smart-grids, electric mobility and other innovative environment friendly technologies, MEP Miriam Dalli said.

The Labour MEP was addressing a public event organized in Gozo as part of a series of meetings organized around Malta and Gozo.

Dalli stated that whilst she acknowledges the challenges that Gozo has to face as an island, especially since like most islands it is also isolated, this can also offer interesting opportunities. She explained how in an island like Gozo, new technologies, procedures and services can be easier to install, test and implement. Dalli emphasized how this vision can become a reality if the right initiatives for investment towards a clean energy transition are created as well as adequate infrastructure built to support the flow of clean energy.

“To support this major shift in investment towards clean energy we require integrated national energy and climate plans that will serve as roadmaps, identifying the required public and private investment for a clean energy transition,” Dalli insisted.

This ties in with the European Commission’s vision for islands and island regions to serve as a platform for pilot initiatives on clean energy transition.

During this activity, Dalli also spoke in favour of budgetary measures presented for 2018 with the aim to further increase employment in Gozo. In particular, she referred to a refund of 30% of the remuneration allocated per employee, up to a maximum of €6,000, to be given to an employer who engages an employee on a contract for three years or more, as well as the MicroInvest scheme whereby financial assistance to businesses based in Gozo increased to €70,000.

From 2013 up till now, there was an increase of 1,500 full-time jobs in Gozo and these initiatives, together with others announced in the budget 2018, are expected to enhance this momentum.

Miriam Dalli focused on the commuting of Gozitans who work or study in Malta and the problems they may face due to double insularity. In this regard, Dalli said that the building of a tunnel between Malta and Gozo can diminish this problem whilst contributing towards cleaner air if this is developed with proper emissions capture technology.

About Gozitan students studying at the University of Malta, Dalli mentioned how they face issues particularly when it comes to renting. Dalli welcomed the initiative taken by the Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana to launch a study to find a place wherein Gozitan students can reside when in Malta.

Dalli concluded by emphasizing on the importance of Gozo having an active role on a European level both by increasing participation in innovation and business networks as well as by tapping into allocated European funds. 

There are 15 funding programmes that include various calls. For these funding programmes, invdividuals as well as public and private entities can apply, depending on the requisites of the call. These calls are, amongst others, aimed at the agricultural sector, the environment and renewable energy as well as small-to-medium-enterprises. More information on European funding programmes can be found on www.meusac.gov.mt.

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