The Malta Independent 20 October 2019, Sunday

MEP Alex Agius Saliba puts pressure on Commission to provide solar rights to EU citizens

Friday, 27 September 2019, 11:36 Last update: about 22 days ago

"The lack of proper 'solar rights' protecting owners of photovoltaic panels and solar water heaters on rooftops is a major obstacle to the widespread uptake of this technology and the efficiency of solar power systems in the EU countries. If we are to reach the 2020 renewable energy targets, we should provide incentives for people to invest in solar energy systems and to guarantee them access to solar rights," said MEP Agius Saliba.

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Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba has put pressure on the European Commission to provide access to solar rights and the protection of people who had invested in solar panels. In a parliamentary question to the European Commission, Agius Saliba asked the Commission to protect private investments and solar rights of EU citizens and encourage the use of solar power systems

"People are getting more concerned about making the right choices when it comes to the environment, and that is why they invest in renewable energy sources. European citizens make the right choice and so should we, as a European Union and as politicians. We need to protect people and ensure that their investments in solar panels are not affected negatively, by over-shading of nearby tall buildings or tenement restrictions."

He explained that currently, there is a significant gap at European and national levels, when it comes to 'solar rights' rules protecting owners of photovoltaic panels. MEP Agius Saliba said that unfortunately, owners of photovoltaic panels and solar water heaters on rooftops are increasingly facing problems from tenements or urban development, creating over-shading and reducing the efficiency and effectiveness of their solar investments. He also noted that in Malta, most of these problems are attributed to the controversial Local Plans which entered into force back in 2006 under the previous administration.

MEP Alex Agius Saliba: "The lack of proper protection of private investments and of the owners of solar panels handicaps the existing potential and advancement of solar energy sources. I do not see, therefore why we should not safeguard people's rights. That is why I am putting pressure on the European Commission to guarantee that European citizens have their investments protected and that solar rights are made available to all
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