Sociologist from Malta

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

For Risk Analysis on Gas Storage at Marsaxlokk

The issue surrounding Malta's shift from heavy fuel oil to gas is once again mired in controversy.

I subscribe to the position of ENGOs and residents for a risk assessment on gas storage at Marsaxlokk. I do not subscribe to partisan-populist alarmism on all sides, of 'cancer factories'; 'timebombs' and other doomsday prophecies. I appeal to the Government to conduct a risk assessment before proceeding. Even though this might slow down Malta's shift to gas, and thus not be in line with Labour's promised time-frames, it would enhance transparency and give due importance to the voices of civil society on the management of risk. In this regard, it is important to note that all energy options, of essence, have manufactured risks within them. Risk analysis can simply clarify the picture on how risks on energy options can be tackled. Hence, 'gospel truths' on water-tight solutions should be treated suspiciously.

Of course there are other issues which one can refer to, such as whether the part-privatization of energy provision in Malta, coupled with Malta's shift to gas will result in a new energy dependency on big business oligarchs at the expense of the pressing need to increase usage of renewable energy sources, in view of Malta's sustainability challenges and climate change targets.


James Debono - Delimara: why all the haste?

Din L-Art Helwa - Risk Analysis for Delimara power station must be completed before permit is granted

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