Supporting Energy Efficiency through EU Funds

Article written by Kurt Cortis – Executive EU Funding at SEM
Published in The Malta Independent – 10.04.2021

A new call for project proposals under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme for Malta seeks to support the government’s shift towards a low-carbon economy by promoting energy efficiency, smart energy management and renewable energy use in public infrastructure and public buildings.

The European Union (EU) is pushing towards an economy based on low-carbon power sources which emit a minimal output of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The ERDF aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the EU by correcting imbalances between its regions and focuses its investments on key priority areas, such as the low-carbon economy. In this way, the EU is helping Member States, regions, local government and cities to implement much needed investments in energy efficiency.

ERDF plays an important role in supporting the EU’s transition to a low-carbon economy. In fact, for the 2014–2020 funding period, Member States were required to allocate a mandatory minimum proportion of the available funding to the low-carbon economy. For the mentioned period a combined €40 billion were scheduled to be invested through the ERDF and Cohesion Fund in the low-carbon economy. This EU investment helps EU Member States decrease costly energy imports, diversify energy sources and cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Malta is committed to invest further and increase the amount of energy generated through renewable sources. In fact, Malta’s Low-Carbon Development Strategy adopts a holistic approach by integrating energy efficiency and renewable technologies as a strategic instrument to decarbonise Malta’s economy. This strategy requires that all sectors of the economy contribute towards the same aim, including the public administration.

The ERDF finances Malta’s Operational Programme (OP) I entitled: Fostering a competitive and sustainable economy to meet our challenges. Earlier this year, a call was launched under Priority Axis 4 of OP I – Shifting towards a low-carbon economy, which call is restricted to Ministries, Government Departments and Public Sector entities.

Eligible applicants may apply to implement energy efficient measures which may be combined with other actions leading to renewable energy. By way of example, an entity may install energy efficient windows combined with the installation of photovoltaic panels, ensuring the maximisation of rooftop usage of public buildings. Applicants may also seek to upgrade and transform existing government buildings with the aim to increase energy efficiency. This call aims to maximise the utilisation of public property for the purpose of energy efficiency in order to ensure more green practices within the public sector.

Applicants are also expected to calculate the potential improvement in energy efficiency and/or renewable energy.

The deadline for this call is 3rd May 2021 at noon. The co-financing rate is set at 80% for non-revenue generating projects and there is no capping for proposals submitted under this call.

Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta (SEM), formerly known as MEUSAC, is a government agency serving as the main point of contact on all EU-related matters. Amongst its various services, SEM assists local organisations such as Government entities, Local Councils and Non-governmental organisations to access EU-funding opportunities, through personalised assistance on the practical aspects related to EU Funding, such as project development and writing. Once a project is selected for funding, SEM can also assist local entities to implement the project.

For more information on this call, the ERDF or any other matter related to the EU, kindly contact SEM on info.sem@gov.mt or 2200 3300.

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