Grant for solar panels batteries, reduction in electricity to charge vehicles
The environmental initiatives in the budget include measures to reduce pollution, to increase public spaces and the reduction of plastic use. An incentive was also announced for persons whose feed-in-tarrif contract on photo-voltaic panels expires, who will be able to purchase batteries that keep energy generated and consume it accordingly.
The budget includes environmental initiatives which cover various realities: from roads to private residences and schools, to shops and consumers, and also public spaces, all aimed so that Malta acts against climate change with a circular economy.
As to residences, those who eight years ago were the first to investi in photo-voltaic panels and had their feed-in-tariff contract expired, can apply for a grant of up to €1,000 to invest in a battery which keeps extra generated electricity for later usage.
Free public transport which in recent years was enjoyed by youths and students will now be extended to elderly persons over 75 years. Those buying an electric car will be given a preferential rate of just under 13 cents for each unit in the electricity bill to charge the battery.
The Government is committing itself that next year it will announce the date when no petrol and diesel engined vehicles will be imported in Malta. Incentives on less polluting cars purchase will continue and also on the purchase of bicycles or pedelecs.
Malta Enterprise will provide incentives to contractors, with a grant of up to €200,000, to change their machinery and equipment for other less polluting machines.
Fountains will be introduced in schools so that children may fill their bottles with water in order to avoid carrying water and to reduce the use of plastic bottles. The refund scheme on plastic bottles and containers will be introduced by the end of the year.
Plastic used only once, such as bags, plates, forks, knives and straws, will be banned in two phases. In January 2021 importation and production of these plastic products will be stopped. From the year after, the sale and distribution of these products will also be banned.
Shops will be given an incentive to encourage consumers to take along empty containers and refill them with any type of products, from oil to cereals.
Regarding projects announced recently, in 2020 preparations will start on the Santa Venera tunnel roofs Project to be turned into an open space, while the first phase of enlarging the size of Ta’ Qali national park will also start next year.
An investiment was also announced on the use of solar panels in public and industrial areas lights and also in other infrastructures.
The Government will invest €130 million in water distribution systems and another €30 million in the extension of the recycled water system. The road works programme, with a €700 million investiment, will resumè with the Government maintaining it is necessary to decrease traffic congestions and emissions.
The reduction of vehicles on roads was also announced, while an expression of interest will be issued on sea ferry transport that will link Valletta, Cottonera and Tas-Sliema with Marsaxlokk, Marsaskala, St Paul’s Bay, St Julian’s and Mellieħa.
The Finance Minister stated that many of these initiatives are agreed upon in the drafting of the National Strategy with which Malta pledges that it will become carbon neutral, to balance emissions and environmental initiatives, by 2050. Minister Scicluna said that as part of the strategy on climate change, the conversion of waste into energy Project will resumè and will finally lead to the closure of the Sant’Antnin plant.