It is heartening to see the proposed expansion of the use of renewable energy sources by Government with the announcement of the tenders for placement of photo-voltaic cells (solar panels) on numerous Government sites. It is also heartening to see that on this occasion there does appear to be a proper tender process unlike the previous project at New Harbours where, in this Government’s usual style, there was no tender and a known Government supporter received the contract by direct allocation.

Trevor Hammond, GSD Environment spokesman said “Any moves by Government to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for energy production are to be welcomed and this certainly is. The published figures in terms of potential energy production do require further scrutiny as Government have an inclination towards exaggeration so it remains to be seen if these projects will be capable of producing 10% of our power needs. People may recall that the Eco wave project on the East side was announced with much fanfare and ribbon cutting and that it was proclaimed that it would expand to produce 15% of our energy needs. That was three years ago and that project never produced more than a few kettles worth of power and now seems to have been virtually discarded.

“Eight years under the GSLP have done little to improve our environment despite their numerous claims, many believe that with the amount of building going on we have taken a backward step. I asked Minister Cortes what proportion of Gibraltar’s energy was produced from renewable sources back in 2016, he answered 0.05%, I then asked if the Government would hit its target of 20% of energy from renewables by 2020, he said yes and was cheered by his colleagues. Three years later that figure of 0.05% has remained static. Air quality remains poor and projects such as this are important for our future and must be delivered, the GSD is committed to expanding the opportunities for increasing our power production from renewable energy, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and improving our air quality”.