New PV scheme will be 'biggest ever'

The government is awaiting clearance from the European Commission to launch the biggest ever local scheme to promote the use of photovoltaic units, Resources Minister George Pullicino said this afternoon.

Speaking at the launching of the government's energy policy, Mr Pullicino said the new scheme would feature more than €17m in subsidies on the purchase of PV units to the domestic sector.

More than 7,000 families are expected to benefit.

The new energy policy places a strong accent on diversification of energy sources including possible investment in a gas pipeline link with mainland Europe. A tender for a feasibility study of such a pipeline will be issued shortly.

The study alone will cost €1 million.

The new Energy policy, which will be revised every three years, is based on five main pillars: efficiency and affordability; security of supply, diversification, flexibility and sustainability.

Mr Pullicino said that during the past years the government brought about a culture change with regard to energy in Malta, where the public now much more conscious on the way it used energy.

Asked whether this policy would also aim at reducing energy prices, he said that this had to be one by lowering consumption levels while also investing in alternative sources so that the island did not remain dependent on oil.

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