Malta isolated from the European electricity & gas networks
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During the closing of the recent discussion on the proposed regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure Commissioner Oettinger made a special mention of Malta in the context of its isolation from the European electricity and gas networks.
He made these remarks during the 3145th meeting of the Council of the European Union (Transport, Telecommunications and Energy) held in Brussels for which Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs George Pullicino was present.
In his usual direct manner the Energy Commissioner did not mince his words. He made it clear that Europe needs to build a modern Energy infrastructure and the proposed 9 billion Euros for Energy from the EU budget (Connecting Europe Facility) are not sufficient.
However given the present circumstances the use of these limited EU funds should respond and ensure that decisions adopted by the European Council related to the interconnection of isolated states like Malta should be given priority. He stated that “if we want them to be integrated in the European electricity and gas networks, co-financing from the EU budget is a must.”
The above sentiments were echoing what Minister Pullicino stated in his address to the Council. Minister Pullicino emphasised projects to interconnect Malta to the European electricity and gas networks may not be economically feasible given the size of the Maltese market.
He also stressed that such market failures should be addressed directly through financial and regulatory measures. “Indeed European funds should be made available for interconnections such as the gas connection for Malta,” concluded the Minster.
Another item discussed during the meeting was Energy Efficiency in Buildings as part of a proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and Council on Energy Efficiency.