The Malta Independent 24 September 2023, Sunday
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ADPD calls for a long-term energy policy

Saturday, 8 April 2023, 16:04 Last update: about 7 months ago

It would be much wiser had public funds earmarked for a second interconnector been used to substantially increase the country's capacity to generate renewable energy and to strengthen the electricity distribution system, ADPD-The Green Party said Saturday.

This missed investment would have brought us closer to the goal of zero carbon and importantly would have drastically reduced the practically total dependence of the country on foreign sources for the energy we need, ADPD-The Green Party Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said during a press conference in Birzebbuġa next to solar panels in the Freeport carpark.

Cacopardo explained that government owns many buildings and can kickstart the move to zero-carbon buildings by ensuring that all public buildings become zero-carbon in a relatively short time. It also has the tools to ensure that the construction industry puts on the market properly buildings built to high standards.

We have reached a point where speculators are being allowed to put property which doesn’t meet basic energy efficiency and insulation standards on the market at exorbitant prices. Energy efficient buildings and the generation of electricity from the roofs of all buildings must become the norm enforced by law. We have no choice, he said.

It would have been much better to invest sensibly in locally generated renewable energy, instead of wasting the millions of Euros on a new interconnector. This investment, including an investment in the strengthening of the electricity distribution system would have translated into the creation of new jobs in Malta, instead of exporting millions of Euros abroad. There is an urgent need to reserve areas for renewable energy related activity in our seas.

There should be a policy requiring all commercial buildings to have photovoltaic panels. It is clear that the government is not interested in pushing the construction industry to build carbon-zero buildings. The government is not even interested in requiring the installation of solar water heaters and photovoltaic systems on buildings, not on new large projects, let alone pushing for the renovation and modernization of existing buildings.

Our country needs to be ambitious. A target of 50% for renewable energy generation till 2030 would be a huge leap forward. Without ambitious goals, the goal of zero carbon by 2050 will certainly not be achieved and we will remain completely dependent on foreign sourced and polluting fossil fuels. We will have to pay, either through taxes or directly, the true price of energy from foreign sources, if Malta does not drastically increase its share of renewable energy in its energy mix. It is also essential that we face the reality of the urgent need for buildings in our country to move towards zero-carbon as quickly as possible. This is the only way in which we can hope, not only to reach our targets, but also to reduce drastically our dependence on foreign sources of energy for the country’s needs, he said.

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