Fabian Demicoli

MRA Photovoltaic Scheme: Will we ever see the launch?

 The photovoltaic scheme is a very important scheme. Because of this scheme a year ago the GRTU was complaining heavily with the Prime Minister as the scheme was suddenly brought to a halt leaving the operators stranded, unable to accept applications and process what they already had confirmed. They had orders coming in and employees ready to start installing but all this had to be kept on hold until the scheme was after a long wait once again issued. The operators in the sector depend very much on these schemes as if there is an incentive the buyers will understandably wait for it.

 

This scheme is so important that during a meeting held with the PPCD and the MRA GRTU President Paul Abela and Council member Noel Gauci in representation of the sector asked for a bigger financial commitment and Ms Marlene Bonnici, then Director General at the PPCD, awarded an extra 4 million Euros in addition to what was already earmarked for the scheme. GRTU takes this opportunity to congratulate Ms Marlene Bonnici for her new appointment. If there is one appointment the GRTU feels if worth commending, it is certainly this one.

Unfortunately, the operators today find themselves once again at a stand-still. The GRTU has been months in discussions with the Malta Resources Authority and has now also included also the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs. We have been pressing for over a month with the Malta Resources Authority (MRRA) in an attempt to learn the date of the launch of the scheme which offers incentives when purchasing Photovoltaic systems.

The GRTU has been repeatedly emphasising how essential it is for the scheme to be launched imminently and before the start of the tradefair. The MRA have told the GRTU that the scheme is ready for launch and that the MRA is awaiting for the MRRA to choose a date. Weeks have now passed since this communication and the situation has not changed. Businesses make an investment when they enroll in the tradefair and those who do not participate create equally interesting incentives to draw customers. It is a common effort as tradefair is the time for which customers wait to start looking at electronics and other items for their home. There is no better time to launch such a scheme.

The GRTU has asked if there are pending issues that still need to be settled but there seems to be none other than choosing the date from the side of the Ministry. GRTU is disappointed that the launch is being postponed on such a petty issue. The GRTU expects the Ministry and the MRA to take immediate action. If there are pending issues it should come clean on what still needs to be done and if not just chose a date.

Quoting from the Commission's Council recommendations on the National Reform Programme 2011 of Malta: "Strengthen efforts to reduce Malta's dependence on imported oil, by bringing forward investments in renewable energies and making full use of available EU funds to upgrade infrastructure and promote energy efficiency".

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