Utilities must strive to improve energy efficiencies by investing in green technology and in renewable energy –Minister Joe Mizzi

Reference Number: PR172523, Press Release Issue Date: Nov 09, 2017
 
Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi said that Utilities must strive to improve their energy efficiencies by optimizing current practices, investing in greener technology and of course invest in renewable energy.
 
He said that in view of this, the Water Services Corporation has embarked on a project, in conjunction with the Energy and Water Agency for the construction of a photovoltaic farm on one of its largest reservoirs in Fiddien, Rabat, and two more large scales PV projects are now in the pipeline.
 
Whilst addressing the European Benchmarking Cooperation workshop, which this year is being hosted in Malta, Minister Mizzi said that the WSC has continuously invested to reduce the energy requirements for desalination through the introduction of energy recovery systems, variable frequency drives, and more efficient processes and machinery. 
 
The EBC is an industry-based initiative for water and waste water services. Their mission is to facilitate water and waste water utilities in the continuous process of improving, innovating and raising transparency.
 
We are proud that EBC has accepted our invitation to host this year’s event, specifically in the smallest Member State of the European Union,” Minister Mizzi said.
 
He said that the supply of potable water has always been a problem for the Maltese Islands due to our semi-dry climate and small geographical size. Since the sixteenth century, Malta resorted to storage of rain water and exploitation of the islands’ limited natural springs and ground water aquifers to survive. Some of these systems were ground-breaking at the time and now form part of our vast cultural heritage. As the population grew and demand on water resources spiralled, Malta resorted to desalination to be able to meet the demand and the quality requirements for safe drinking water.
 
The Maltese Government, has over the past years, sought to improve the quality of the service provided by the Water Services Corporation (WSC).
 
Minister Mizzi mentioned the investment and upgrading of our infrastructure and methodologies and the setting of targets, as well as the continuous assessment of their performance.
 
“Public entities in Malta”, he said, “including the WSC, are carefully assessed through the routine reporting of a number of KPIs. These are used by the individual institutions to follow up on their performance. This will ascertain that all the investment made does not go to waste but rather, the Maltese people and the Maltese economy in general keep on benefitting from the improvements made over the years.”  
 
Minister Mizzi added that the European Benchmarking Cooperation is of great support to Malta and the WSC. “It gives us the unique opportunity to measure ourselves, from the context of a small nation, with other much larger countries having a substantial number of smaller utilities or others with few but larger ones. Notwithstanding the continuous investment required to maintain high quality standards, this is not enough. In today’s cosmopolitan society utility companies are not just responsible to provide clean drinking water and treating waste water safely but must be able to do this with minimal impact on the environment.”
 
“Challenges such as population growth, water scarcity, climate change, depletion of natural resources and water security, emerging pollutants, carbon footprints and the move towards a more circular economy should be at the forefront of our priorities. Society in general has high expectations from utilities and thus we have a moral obligation to face them, and believe me this is the right thing to do for our environment, our societies and ultimately ourselves,” Minister Mizzi concluded.