Use of renewables for a vibrant economy

Ralph Cassar, spokesman for energy, transport and industry, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party, Attard

Lately Lawrence Gonzi said that we could not continue depending on volatile regions of the world for our energy requirements. This very late realisation of fact, I’m afraid, shows a lack of foresight and vision. We are already very late.

The only way forward is reducing inefficiencies in power generation, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and investing heavily in clean energy production.

The centralised model of producing energy has to be rethought – we can have lots of small clean-energy producing units together with other technology such as solar water heaters, which although they do not produce energy, reduce energy consumption by a significant amount. As a country we have not moved fast enough and we are still lagging far behind.

Whether we achieve the modest target of 10 per cent of our energy from clean sources by 2020 still remains to be seen.

The enthusiasm for clean energy at household and local level is very encouraging. In Attard, for example, it has been decided that for the necessary upgrades to bring pedestrian crossings up to standard, clean technology, unconnected to the power grid, will be used.

As a local councillor, I am proud to have pushed for this and similar initiatives. I am sure that other places are also taking such steps.

However, it goes without saying that the biggest push must come from the government. The advantages of moving towards renewables, through a bridging with cleaner fuel such as gas, are numerous. A country which is at the forefront of new technologies means a country with a vibrant economy, a healthier population and a forward-looking mindset which should be of benefit to one and all.

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