Fabian Demicoli

GRTU meeting for the Renewable Energy Sector

Last week the renewable energy sector had a very cordial and productive meeting. The meeting was held at the GRTU in Valletta, and various topics that are either hindering the sector or may be improved were discussed. Section President Noel Gauci would like to thank all those that attended and those who sent the survey by email. Results are published below.

 

The issues raised during the meeting were as follows;

Retailers have always been given guidelines and requested to adhere or desist. Nowadays these are being followed to the letter by the vast majority of suppliers, but should authorities also have some sort of guidelines to make renewable energy more customer friendly and attractive in Malta? Some actions that need to be taken are;

– Stipulate a timeframe within which Enemalta should send its

people to install the meter that measures exported electricity

– Stipulate a timeframe within which clients that have been

promised a rebate recover such funds

– Indicate what the feed in tariff will be like after the 8 years that are currently being committed by Enemalta

Another issue was the need to create a one stop shop for suppliers and customers alike so that one would not need to run from the supplier to Enemalta to MRA and MEPA etc. We believe that MRA should create an office that caters for such liaising where clients and retailers can go and get answers for their queries. The office should also accept to liaise with the retailers in case the client decides to appoint them to do so. For this purpose a special document to be signed by the client should be created and available online. Such office should always be manned and personnel should be adequately trained. This to solve the issue that many times one does not find the right person available for specific questions at MRA.

The installation period for new domestic photovoltaic schemes should be increased to one year. This has already been increased from 6 months to 8 months during the last scheme, but since the same amount of money is yielding more installations, the timeframe has again proved to be too short and in some cases could affect the quality of workmanship. Retailers believe this should be taken seriously and there is a consensus that in the future the timeframe should be twelve months.

The need for a new scheme for domestic PV. The group believes that we should not wait until we have finished all our installations to start discussing a new scheme, but that GRTU must ensure that if there is no funding available, discussion start to seek funding from PPCD like it did last year. Noel Gauci informed the members that the issue has already been raised with PPCD and we are awaiting for the next meeting to see the outcome.

Current feed in tariff rates are unfair. One could be purchasing electricity from Enemalta at 36 cents or even at 72 cents per KW, while selling the equivalent KW at 25c. For this reason high electricity consumers who have large amounts of space where they can install PV's refrain from doing so as they feel robbed. We believe that MRA should re negotiate the power purchase agreements so as to ensure that PV owners have a fair option where they can buy and sell at the same rate, or what is more commonly known as net metering. This system is used as long as the owner generates not more than what he produces. In the event of over production, the rate of 25 cents would apply.

The need for Enemalta/ARMS to recognize domestic accounts as residential.

A survey was also carried out among the members of the section. The results were as follows;

Kuntent bl-iskemi tal gvern?

Iva – 50% Le – 50%

Fejn jistghu jitjiebu?

Feed in tariff

More frequent or open-ended schemes

Longer application time

Less paperwork

Delays in processing applications

 

Qed ikun hemm zmien bizzejjed ghall applikazzjonijiet?

Iva – 25% Le – 75%

 

Xi jxekklek l-aktar waqt l-iskemi?

Short periods of applications

Certain procedures until these are approved

Bureaucracy in certain areas, such as limitation to change equipment when the manufacturer launches a new version due to shortage supply if this is in the client's favour value wise

 

Minn min jew mill liema dipartimenti tal gvern jew awtoritajiet tistenna li jsir xi haga jew li jista jsir iktar?

MRA grants division

Energy

Environment

 

In negozju tieghek zdid jew naqas?

 

Zdid

Naqas

Baqa' l-istess

fl-ahhar sena

50%

25%

25%

fl-ahhar sentejn

 

25%

75%

fl-ahhar tlett snin

 

25%

75%

 

Jekk kellek zieda fin-negozju tatribwixxi din iz-zieda ghall iskemi?

Iva – 100% Le – nil

 

Min naha l-ohra jekk kellek tnaqqis, ghaliex tahseb?

Excessive bureaucracy at MRA grants division

Long waiting times

Short application period

MRA too rigid on certain minor issues

 

X-tixtieq li jinbidel u jsir ahjar fl-ammisnistrazzjoni tal-iskemi?

Becomes more frequent

Better communication mra-client-supplier etc

Less red tape for PV clients

 

X-tahseb fuq il feed in tariff

Ghandha tizdied u tiehu post l-iskemi?

45%

Ghandha tibqa kif inhi u grtu tiggieled ghal iktar fondi

55%

 

Fejn tahseb li ghandna ninsistu l-aktar?

Solar water heaters

15%

Photovoltaics

85%

Suggerimenti ohra

Combined heat and power(CHP)

 

Fl-opinjoni tieghek, liema skemi kienu l-iktar ta success u li ghandna nuzaw bhala ezempju ghal skemi ohra?

Domestic SWH

5%

Domestic PV

75%

Industrial (Malta Enterprise)

20%

Other

 

 

Other comments

Radical change in SWH scheme

More schemes during the year.

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