Government must take stock of energy distribution system, if needed redesign it – Malta Chamber CEO

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 July, 2023 at 9:15 am by Andre Camilleri

The government must take stock of Malta’s energy distribution system and, if needed redesign it, Malta Chamber of Commerce CEO Marthese Portelli told this newsroom.

The country faced numerous power cuts during a heat wave when temperatures surpassed 40 degrees. A meeting of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) was called, and it was held on Friday.

After the MCESD meeting, Portelli mentioned in the comments that The Malta Chamber was emphasizing the significance of expediting the investment rollout and implementation into the electricity distribution system.”We insisted that the investment needs to be made in a much shorter timeframe. We also insisted that we need to ensure that the adequate budget is in place, as it could be the case that the government would allocate more than what has already been allocated,” she said.

At the same time, she said, The Malta Chamber also insisted that the government must take stock of the distribution network, evaluate and possibly even redesign it in order to ensure that the upgrade of the network is done adequately to meet the country’s needs.

“We don’t want quick fixes, we don’t want a repeat. It is important that this be done properly and we cannot be in a situation where we would change the network every few years.”

The Malta Chamber thanked the Enemalta employees for their hard work over the past weeks.

Since the budget for 2024 is round the corner, she said, “we insisted that ministries revisit and re-evaluate their priorities, that they look at the investment being made and the benefits that they bring to the country in terms of return on investment, in contributing positively to tackling climate change and to ensure that projects improve quality of life and wellbeing of society.”

The Malta Chamber also insisted that the government must start differentiating, and incentivising people and businesses to invest in energy efficient systems. Tax rebates for example, shouldn’t be given across the board, but should be given to companies investing in energy efficient systems, she said. “If we are going to support the construction sector, then we should only support those helping to reduce the climate impact.”

She said that the MCESD also spoke about fair compensation for businesses that suffered damages, but said that The Malta Chamber doesn’t want to ingrain a culture where it is ok for there to be a fault as compensation would be given. “Whatever compensation is given must only be given to those who suffered material damage, and needs to be correlated with what was declared,” she said.

Lastly, The Malta Chamber also asked the government to look into bi-directional e-vehicles and charging stations where apart from powering the vehicle, power generated can also be shared with homes and businesses.

Bi-directional e-vehicles, also known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) or vehicle-to-home (V2H), bi-directional charging is the ability of an electric vehicle to reverse the process of taking power from the grid, ie, the vehicle can supply energy back to the grid.

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