We have all become more conscious of the importance of safeguarding our environment and of the changes which have occurred in our climate over the years. Over time human activity has had a profound impact on the global climate, not only having a bearing on the ecological aspect, but also impacting upon economic development and social activity.
The primary role of EU funds in supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources (RES) is that of rewarding their environmental benefits when compared to conventional power sources. Another role is that of overcoming those barriers which investors (such as households, enterprises, voluntary organisations and public institutions) tend to encounter in the shape of market imperfections and lack of capital to make the initial investment.
Through Operational Programme I a number of actions are being carried out in order to promote reduction and means of adapting to the effects brought about by climate change. This can be done through an increased use of RES as well as a more efficient and sustainable use of resources. Apart from helping the environment this also contributes to increasing economic efficiency and competitiveness as well as better quality of life for all. Examples of such interventions include the Malta Resources Authority scheme for the installation of photo-voltaic panels for domestic use as well as the installation of systems of a similar nature in a number of educational institutions, local councils and public buildings. The private sector has also benefited through two grant schemes managed by Malta Enterprise with the aim of supporting innovation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises through investment in environmentally friendly technologies (ERDF128a) and supporting enterprises to invest in energy saving measures and alternative energy sources (ERDF133).