Domestic renewable PV energy schemes in coming weeks

Minister Konrad Mizzi announces domestic renewable photovoltaic energy schemes to be launched in coming weeks

Energy and Water Conservation Minister Konrad Mizzi
Energy and Water Conservation Minister Konrad Mizzi

In an interview with weekly newspaper Illum, Energy and Water Conservation Minister Konrad Mizzi announced that the Labour government has secured EU funding for the EU part-funded domestic PV renewable energy schemes, and that these would be launched in the coming weeks.

He also said that the government would be also renewing and extending existing energy saving schemes based on other technologies, such as solar water heaters.

In the interview, Mizzi also discussed Labour's decision to issue an expression of interest for the proposed Delimara gas energy plant that allows for the opportunity for both a land-based and a water-based LNG terminal.

This, he said, does not represent a shift away from Labour's previous support for a land-based terminal as one that would yield the cheapest energy tariffs for local consumers, but a willingness to remain open to all ideas.

He said that bidders would be presenting both land-based and water-based options, and that government would be deciding which to opt for on the basis of Malta's commitment to respecting emissions thresholds and also which option would yield the cheapest energy.

 Mizzi also affirmed that the government would not shy away from conducing an Environmental Impact Assessment of the project, should MEPA determine that such a study be required.

Discussing his handling of ARMS Ltd CEO Wilfred Borg, and his recent suspension, Mizzi insisted that the criticism levelled against him for allowing Borg the opportunity to defend himself is unfounded.

"Borg will be given all the opportunity he requires to defend himself, as is stipulated in his contract," Mizzi emphasised while specifying that Borg has not been fired yet, but merely suspended while the ARMS Ltd Board investigates the case and decides whether disciplinary action is warranted.

"The Board will speak to everyone involved, and Borg will be given his due. The process will be carried out as established within his contract," Mizzi said.

He argues that ARMS Ltd.'s most recent misstep, where 3,000 energy vouchers out of an issue of 3,800 contained gross mistake and miscalculations, was unacceptable and that Borg was responsible - a point upon which he and Borg differed.

"He felt he was not obliged to shoulder responsibly over this case, but I thought that he should have done the honourable thing and resigned as CEO. But he decided to do otherwise," Mizzi said.

Mizzi also spoke at length about the government's plans for water conservation and of ensuring proper monitoring on ground water extraction.

He however held back from committing himself on whether the Labour government plans to tackle the issue of unregulated and unrestricted groundwater extraction by commercial operations, such as local bottling companies.

Read the full interview in today's issue of Illum.

Mizzi also spoke at length about the government's plans for water conservation and of ensuring proper monitoring on ground water extraction.--- S' funny how politicians constantly blah blah about (illegal) water extraction and then do NOTHING about it. Can't see any change forthcoming here.