UPDATE: Government explanation requested over Sikka l-Bajda offshore wind farm – PL
The Labour Spokesman on Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Leo Brincat has asked Government to explain what happened to the Sikka l-Bajda offshore wind farm.
He said that despite Government boasting that part of the renewable energy produced in Malta will be generated through wind, particularly through the offshore wind farm at Sikka l-Bajda, the Labour Party is obliged to ask what has really happened regarding the mentioned project. He went on to say that presently Malta occupies the bottom position in the EU for alternative energy produced by the country.
Leo Brincat said that he was asking the questions for several reasons including the fact the Government has never replied to several questions put by the Leader of the Labour Party Joseph Muscat about the project.
Another reason was that the environmental impact assessment about the project, that was concluded more than a six weeks ago has not het been published.
He said that while copies of the report were pass on to several local councils, Government has not issued a statement to confirm what the report is saying, that is, that the proposal goes against the EU policies since it poses a threat to marine protected areas and could also negatively impact protected species.
Mr Brincat said that one would have expected a detailed statement by Government and not some comments passed in certain sections of the media.
The Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs said that the claims made by Mr Brincat show that the Opposition “is mixed up and trying to create controversies on nothing.” The Ministry said Government'S intention will remain to generate clean energy from wind. Thus the application it filed with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.
It said that the environment impact assessment (EIA) about the offshore wind farm at Sikka l-Bajda has now been passed on to the stakeholders for the opinion. “Thus the report is already public and nothing was held in secret,” the Ministry said.
The Ministry for Resources said that Leo Brincat know well that the EIA was carried out to analyse the environmental impact such a project would have on the marine life and the results would be the base of the decision taken by MEPA.
“Wind farms form a main part of Malta’s plan to generate clean energy gained from the sun, wind and waste. The results gained so far are encouraging. The established aims to gain energy from the sun have already surpassed those set for 2012 and energy is already being generated through waste,” the Ministry added.
But in all this the Opposition always acted as hindrance as was its position against the upgrading of the Sant Antnin plant, the Ministry said.