During a recent press conference highlighting the Malta government’s efforts over the past four years, Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs George Pullicino announced that an official proposal had been submitted to the European Commission for the funding of a €30 million Malta green energy research project for a deep offshore wind farm. The green energy project has been in various development stages for some months now, but the submission of the proposal is a major step forward and is welcomed by Malta company executives and the public alike.
Malta sent the proposal as part of an international consortium that also included various commercial entities as well as the Scottish, Dutch and Swedish government. The research will concentrate on offshore wind farm technology in waters over 60 metres deep, as is the case with Malta’s waters. Mr Pullicino also stated that an Environmental Impact Statement for the Malta green energy wind farm project would also have to be completed. Overall, this Malta green energy project is expected to cost around €250 million and will be funded by the private sector.
Malta has been making other inroads into green energy. Mr Pullicino also discussed the new feed-in tariff scheme for private users who produce their own green energy by using photovoltaic cell systems. To date around 12,000 homes have benefited from subsidies, providing the initiative for introducing green energy technology to the home. The Malta government will also be introducing around 70,000m² of photovoltaic cells to government buildings, showing Malta income tax payers that they practice what they preach. He also announced that the public is showing a greater awareness of the environmental benefits of recycling as well as Malta green energy. In 2011, there was a reported 5% increase in collected domestic recycled waste.