PNPL skips: both want to burn dirty fuel

The more they try to be different, the more they show that they have the same mentality. The race to the bottom has started. This time it is about energy.

So we have PN and Gonzi’s government defending the BWSC choice for a new power plant at Delimara. After years on end of neglect Mlata is late on its targets big time. Fine particles emitted by Delimara are way over limit. I won’t even discuss Marsa – which had to be closed on completion of the Delimara plant, if not mistaken by 1994, then it had to be closed in 2004 and now it ‘should be’ closing down ‘soon’… the ‘soon’ taking another 3 or 4 years probably. Anyway, government chose a  plant burning the cheapest, dirtiest fuel available and will use end-of-pipe technology to clean the dirt.

At the same time we have Muscat and PL crowing about how he will reduce the energy bill…. probably by burning an even dirtier fuel and using another end-of-pipe technology together with the failed ‘carbon capture and storage’ technology. The technology of ‘carbon capture’ is shaky to say the least. It is supposed to store carbon dioxide gas somewhere deep in the north sea. Basically it is another excuse for business as usual for oil companies. Muscat is harping about ‘independence from oil’ while at the same time supporting a technology which depends on oil or other fossil fuels. Of course the important thing is being populist because Peppa, Ċensa and Kalanċ do not give a fig whether the fuel used is coal or refinery waste as long as ‘l-għażiż mexxej’ scores points over ‘l-għażiż Prim Ministru’ (PN-speak for Gonzi). 

Of course fossil fuels will continue to be used for energy generation in the forseeable future. The trick is increasing the efficiency of power generation from these sources as much as possible and moving to cleaner gas. But it also means reducing the energy intensity of the economy and increasing as much as possible the share of renewable energy with a huge leap to moving away from electricity use for say heating water (which uses a significant chunk of electricity) for which tried, tested and cheap technology already exists. The European Smart Grid is also an important target which the whole EU should work towards.

Yes we should and can move towards a scenario where energy prices can be stabilised. No, we will never have electricity at cheap, throw away prices. No, we will never be able to burn petrol and diesel to our heart’s content in our cars as if there were no tomorrow. Muscat and Gonzi are giving the impression that they want different things as regards the energy sector. In fact they both want to burn cheap, dirty fuel.

If you want another parliament which gets us nowhere, go ahead just vote for them.

Some interesting links regarding ‘clean coal’:

http://www.economist.com/node/13235041

http://www.economist.com/node/13226661

One Response to “PNPL skips: both want to burn dirty fuel”

  1. Godfrey Camilleri Says:

    Very good article Ralph; keep the guns blazing.

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