MEP Miriam Dalli: Gozo has potential to become a clean energy island

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MEP Miriam Dalli: Gozo has potential to become a clean energy islandMember of the European Parliament Dr Miriam Dalli, has stated that Gozo has the potential to become an environmentally clean island.

Dr Dalli added that, it could also serve as a successful pilot project for innovative energy solutions, smart-grids, electric mobility and other innovative environment friendly technologies.

The MEP was addressing a public event organised in Gozo as part of a series of meetings taking place around the Maltese Islands.

She stated that whilst she acknowledges the challenges that Gozo has to face as an island, especially since like most islands it is also isolated, this can also offer interesting opportunities.

Dr Dalli went on to explain how in an island like Gozo, new technologies, procedures and services can be easier to install, test and implement.

Dalli emphasised how this vision can become a reality if the right initiatives for investment towards a clean energy transition are created as well as adequate infrastructure built to support the flow of clean energy.

Miriam Dalli insisted that, “to support this major shift in investment towards clean energy we require integrated national energy and climate plans that will serve as roadmaps, identifying the required public and private investment for a clean energy transition.”

“This ties with the European Commission’s vision for islands and island regions to serve as a platform for pilot initiatives on clean energy transition,” remarked the MEP.

Dalli also spoke in favour of budgetary measures presented for 2018 with the aim to further increase employment in Gozo.

Se referred in particular to a refund of 30% of the remuneration allocated per employee, up to a maximum of €6,000, to be given to an employer who engages an employee on a contract for three years or more, as well as the MicroInvest scheme whereby financial assistance to businesses based in Gozo increased to €70,000.

The MEP pointed out that between 2013 to the present day, there has been an increase of 1,500 full-time jobs in Gozo, “and these initiatives, together with others announced in the budget 2018, are expected to enhance this momentum.”

Miriam Dalli focused on the commute for Gozitans who work or study in Malta and the problems they may face due to double insularity.

Dr Dalli said that, “the building of a tunnel between Malta and Gozo can diminish this problem whilst contributing towards cleaner air if this is developed with proper emissions capture technology.”

Referring to those Gozitan students who study at the University of Malta, Dalli mentioned the issues they face, particularly when it comes to renting.

She welcomed the initiative taken by the Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana, to launch a study to find a place wherein Gozitan students can reside when in Malta.

MEP Miriam Dalli concluded by emphasising on the importance of Gozo having an active role on a European level, “both by increasing participation in innovation and business networks as well as by tapping into allocated European funds,” she said.

There are 15 funding programmes that include various calls. For these funding programmes, individuals as well as public and private entities can apply, depending on the requisites of the call.

These calls are, among others, aimed at the agricultural sector, the environment and renewable energy as well as small-to-medium-enterprises.

More information on European funding programmes can be found on www.meusac.gov.mt

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