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The National Pool Complex is one of the facilities managed by Sport Malta, Source: sportmalta.mt

Malta gives EUR 1 million refunds on energy-saving projects in sports

Malta gives EUR 1 million refunds on energy-saving projects in sports

The island nation has diversified its energy sources, focusing on the deployment of photovoltaic systems

The Government of Malta has launched a scheme encouraging sports clubs to invest in more energy-efficient equipment. 40 sports organizations will benefit from this scheme, set up by the Energy and Water Agency in collaboration with Sport Malta.

They will share about one million euros between them in reimbursements on 60 projects, including installation of modern lighting systems, heat pumps, appliances and pumping equipment.

60 projects to receive refunds

The clubs received recognition for their efforts last week during a ceremony at the Hibernians Basketball Pavilion, where Energy, Enterprises and Sustainable Development Minister Miriam Dalli and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima presented the clubs with mementos for their investments.

Minister Dalli, quoted by TVM, explained that reception to the scheme had been so positive that the government decided to allocate additional funds for the implementation of more energy-efficient projects. There had been a total of 72 applicants for this scheme, and refunds have already been given to 40 clubs.

Of 120 projects undertaken under the scheme, 70 have been completed. In the long run, through this scheme, about 340 tons in CO2 emissions will be eliminated, and the clubs will save some 100,000 euros on their aggregate bills.

Malta’s energy mix

Rapid increases in tourism, economic activity and population have prompted Malta to diversify and upgrade its electrical grid in recent years, an Interreg Europe survey points out. To this end, the country has made a transition from inefficient coal- and heavy oil-fueled electricity production to one that uses natural gas, oil for backup, and an electricity interconnector with Sicily. By 2024 the government plans to make operational a EUR 400 million gas pipeline with Italy, which will replace the gas tanker currently supplying the power plant.

Under Directive 2009/28/EC, Malta made a commitment to achieve a 10 percent share of energy from renewable sources in 2020. Solar energy is currently the safest bet, as development of other alternatives such as wind power is not viable due to the island’s high population density, limited land area, reliance on tourism and shipping and the protected status of much of the surrounding sea. Therefore, Government policy focuses on the deployment of photovoltaic systems taking advantage (in the absence of large tracts of land) of rooftops and brown field sites such as disused quarries and landfills, the survey concludes.

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