Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: “Various aspects of Labour’s energy plans are welcome, whilst others can be problematic. The energy mix concept and the proposed shift from Heavy Fuel Oil to gas is welcome, meaning that there is a cross-party consensus on a shift to cleaner energy after years of neglect in Malta’s energy sector. The importance given to renewable energy is also welcome, especially since Malta is at the bottom of the list in the EU on usage of such energy, but Labour must be clearer in its proposals. Progressive tariff structures which discourage waste are also welcome.”
“On the other hand, Labour is being too optimistic on the price of gas and on time-frames. Like other fossil fuels, including heavy fuel oil, its price is likely to increase in the years to come, due to increase in global demand and limited supply. Besides, Enemalta’s 800 million Euro worth of debt has to be factored in. Labour should present studies to back up its specific proposals. We also question Labour’s proposed time-frames, as processes for tendering, environment impact assessments and other requirements for the construction of a power station take considerable time to be completed. As regards water tariffs, what is needed is to ensure that theft from boreholes is stopped, as this is creating problems of unsustainability which will result in price increases”.
“Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party’s energy policy insists on a leading role of the state in the energy sector, in massive investment in renewables; and in penalising waste whilst subsidising basic use of energy”.
Ralph Cassar, AD spokesperson for Energy, Transport and IT, said: “Alternattiva Demokratika’s energy vision is based on conservation and the careful use of resources, social justice and efficiency. A wiser use of resources such as water means that more wealth and value added will stay in the country. By giving incentives to industries that use clean energy or by making better use of limited resources, employment will increase. The state should subsidise the basic consumption of energy while penalising waste. The state can make good for the expenditure required by progressive fiscal measures such as windfall taxes and taxes on harmful environmental practices. Massive investment in renewable energy will reduce dependency on fossil fuels, which are facing inevitable price increases due to limited supply and increasing demand.”
“The state should have the leading role in energy policy and supply. It should be ensured that energy use is sustainable, that energy poverty is avoided and that employment is not precarious. This also holds for energy provided by the private sector. If the private sector does not manage to reach these aims, the state should intervene and regulate in an effective manner”.
ENERGY – years on end of neglect
* The PN government left it to the last moment to publish an energy plan.
* There were no pre-accession negotiations with the EU on help to modernise our energy infrastructure.
* Enemalta has a massive debt of 873 million Euro.
* The Marsa power station remained in operation even though it had exceeded the deadline for its closure and even though the PN government had promised its closure in 1995 and 2004.
* The BWSC plant runs on heavy fuel oil, because the PN government did not start working on a gas pipeline till very recently.
* Malta is at the bottom of the list when it comes to clean and renewable energy (much less than 1% of total energy generated).