Malta cancels EUR5.5 million commercial rooftop scheme

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In the face of spiraling electricity costs and a requirement to meet European renewable energy targets, Malta’s government has been turning to rooftop solar in a number of schemes. However the latest, which aimed to encourage rooftop installations on commercial or industrial properties has been cancelled. The scheme was to be cofounded by the EU.

Yesterday Malta Enterprise announced that the Solar Energy Grant Scheme 2013 had been cancelled, due to "problems encountered in the process of pre-selection of suppliers." The scheme had required installers to preregister before funds for various projects were to be made available.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) was the EU funding body involved with the incentive program and Malta Enterprise said that it was consulted before the cancellation was announced.

Maltese renewable energy researcher Charles Yousif told pv magazine that detailed reasons for the cancellation have not been announced at this stage, however the government has attributed it to "technical reasons."

Yousif, from the University of Malta’s Institute for Sustainable Energy said that it is likely that applicants that were not successful in applying for approval for the scheme had likely raised objections. "This probably created a counter-reaction from these unsuccessful entities, which halted the whole process," Yousif told pv magazine.

The government has indicated it will use the money set aside for the scheme elsewhere.

Malta’s opposition party yesterday demanded that the government gives a detailed explanation of the incident.

The September edition of pv magazine will feature an article about the solar industry in Malta and the exponential growth it is currently experiencing.