Heavy Fuel Oil detrimental to environment & economy – AD
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Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party expressed its disappointment with MEPA’s approval of the Delimara power station extension which will be powered with heavy fuel oil. AD said that this reflects the Government’s lack of foresight, lack of planning and lack of an energy policy which takes into account the sustainability of power generation has resulted into dependence upon dirty fossil fuel.
Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said, “The Government and MEPA have opted for dirty heavy fuel oil, putting it ahead of environmental considerations such as people’s health. The Government has been aware of the fact that Marsa should be replaced at least since April 2003 and should have started the shift to gas back then. Malta is far off from meeting its 10% Renewable Energy target and in this case the government should pull its socks up and consider various options.”
“As regards the economic justification regards the choice of Heavy Fuel Oil, the basic fact remains that the price of oil, like other fossil fuels, will keep increasing due to limited global supply and increasing demand.”
“Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party believes that Malta should shift to gas – as a transitional energy – as early as possible, and should progressively increase its investment in clean renewable energy – such as solar and wind, which are the best options for Malta – to reach the 10% target committed with the EU by 2020, and for further increases after that. It is true that gas is a fossil fuel, meaning that it is finite and expected to increase in cost, like coal and oil. But at least, it is much less polluting than other fossil fuels, even if more expensive. Yet the environmental impact of heavy fuel oil will ultimately be detrimental to Malta’s economy, to.”
Briguglio also reiterated that Malta should definitely not consider dirty fuel technologies such as carbon capture storage.
Ralph Cassar, Secretary General and spokesperson on energy, industry and transport added, “The reality is that renewable energy has become competitive when compared to more traditional and dirty energy sources. It has the added benefit of being a totally locally generated energy source, free from the influence of external markets. Indeed, the International Energy Agency has said that renewable energy is becoming increasingly cost competitive, whilst having clear environmental and energy security benefits. Malta has lost ground and we are in today’s situation because of the lack of long term planning in the energy sector by government. Keeping heavy fuel oil as the fuel of choice means that government is looking to the past instead of moving on to the future.”