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Malta ‘far behind’ in wind energy targets, will not be met – President

President of the Republic George Abela today revealed that wind energy targets set by the PN administration will not be achieved by the Labour government as questions of viability are being raised.

Abela was delivering his speech marking the opening of the twelfth parliament as he outlined government’s work for the coming five years.

An essential part of government’s energy policy is to give a strong push to renewable energy if it is to meet the at least 4% 2020 renewable energy target pledged by Labour during the electoral campaign.

However, President Abela today revealed that targets set by the PN administration with regard to wind-generated energy will not be achieved.

“Our country is at the bottom of Europe’s list on renewable energy and we are far behind in targets set by the previous government, especially in wind energy,” Abela said.

“Targets set will not be met since the wind farm project has fallen far behind and several questions of viability are being raised.”

Abela said a new government will be working as much as possible to solve this issue by also encouraging the private sector to heavily invest in solar energy and other renewable energy technologies.

“Studies on wind energy generation will continue,” he added.

Earlier last year, now environment minister Leo Brincat has accused the Nationalist government of failing in its efforts to meet Malta’s 10% alternative energy generation target, and for neglecting to explore solar energy by over-relying on wind energy instead.

The criticism was made at a time when the government had announced the development of a floating €15 million turbine project off the coast of Mellieha. The PN administration said it had already applied for EU funding and issued a call for tender in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment recommendations.

Brincat had however insisted that Malta was still “at least eight years away from reaching the 10% alternative energy target” adding that Malta was still at the bottom of the list of EU Member States. He had lambasted government for choosing to rely on wind energy to generate almost 40% of the alternative energy target imposed by the European Union.