Increased use of sustainable energy at the Ministry for Gozo
From January to June of this year, the photovoltaic panels system installed on the Ministry for Gozo roofs have generated around 40,000 units of electricity. With this installation, the Ministry is generating around 30% of all the energy demand from all the departments, offices and other sections operating within this administrative building or the equivalent energy consumption of 20 families in a year.
This is the result of an initiative taken by the Ministry for Gozo some years back when a 10kWp photovoltaic system had been installed.
This was the first initiative of this sort implemented by a government entity. It was agreed that the savings resulting from reduced electricity consumption would be re-invested in more panels in order to increase the sustainable use of alternative sources. After the installation of more panels during the beginning of this year, the yield capacity quadrupled. It is expected that by the end of this year, the photovoltaic system installed will generate 50% of the electricity consumption with the installation of more panels on the roofs of the Ministry for Gozo in the coming months.
The Hon. Giovanna Debono, Minister for Gozo explained how this installation is highly important also in context of the ecoGozo Action Plan. In fact, this project addresses one of the 80 measures found in the Action Plan 2010-2012.
Other initiatives implemented by the Ministry for Gozo related to the ecoGozo Action Plan include a detailed study on the possibility of increasing the installation of photovoltaic systems on administrative and other Government buildings in Gozo, including schools and the Gozo General Hospital. This study led to the approval of two extensive projects, with an investment of around €11 million supported through EU Funds.
Minister Giovanna Debono added that a call for tenders is being evaluated for the installation of a wind monitoring mast to gather data on the potential wind energy in Gozo.
Minister for Gozo also expressed her satisfaction to the private sector for the introduction of sustainable energy systems which apart from reducing electricity bills, impact positively by reducing emissions and promoting sustainability.
During the last five years, more than 1,700 families benefitted from subsidies amounting to around €2 million after they participated in Government schemes related to the installation of photovoltaic panels or solar water heaters. Gozitan residents benefit from a preferential feed-in tariff of 28c for each unit produced.