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The Republic of Moldova will produce energy from domestic sources

The Republic of Moldova will produce energy from domestic sources

The Republic of Moldova will significantly increase the use of renewable energy sources in the next four years. More than 130 kindergartens, schools, medical centers, and other public institutions in rural communities, and over 500 private households will be heated with energy from locally produced biomass, especially waste straw. These are some of the key objectives of the European Union- funded Moldova Energy and Biomass Project (14 MEUR provided by the EU), launched today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Government of Moldova.

Funded by the European Union, the project constitutes currently the most ambitious initiative in the area of renewable energy promotion in Moldova, aiming to increase energy security, set up functional markets for biomass technologies and fuel, and create new jobs and income at the local and regional level.

„Moldova is highly dependent on energetic resources imported from abroad and finding alternative energy sources is a priority for the country. As Moldova is a relatively agrarian country, biomass is the most suitable energy source. The Government has set its objective to reform the energy sector by increasing energy security, diversifying energy sources and attracting investments in this sector. The Moldova Energy Strategy envisages that by 2020, 20% of produced energy will come from renewable source", stated Ilarion Popa, Deputy Minister of Economy. 

Over 95% of Moldova energy needs, mostly fossil fuels and electricity, are covered by imports. At the same time, the country has a large potential for the production of energy from renewable sources, which at present is not explored. Recent studies have shown that one of the most reliable and easily accessible alternative energy sources is straw and other agricultural wastes. The Republic of Moldova produces on average 700.000 tones of straw per year which can generate around 700 million KWh .

"Renewable energy plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution, diversifying and improving the security of energy supply and maintaining clean-energy technology industry. The EU has agreed to achieve a 20 % share of renewable for the entire Union by 2020. This European framework should help everyone move to a more sustainable energy supply", said Dirk Schuebel, Head of EU Delegation to Moldova. "The Moldovan government has a clear intention to diversify energy sources as already stipulated by several policy documents, however, implementation of these targets is a real challenge. Therefore the EU and other donors are ready to provide assistance in order to achieve the declared policy objectives. One of these projects is the current Energy and Biomass Project, which aims to increase the use of renewable energy technology which will primarily focus on improving heating comfort levels in rural public sector buildings including schools and community centres by using readily available waste straw supplied from local agricultural enterprises", Mr. Schuebel said.

The Moldova Energy and Biomass Project will support authorities to diversify the energy sources which will contribute to a more secure and sustainable energy supply system in more than 130 selected rural communities, with a high potential for replication and upscaling. Many public buildings and private households in rural areas will have increased heat comfort while saving money on energy consumption. Agricultural producers and biomass technology providers will benefit from new business opportunities.

„This project will work in all regions of Moldova and will yield many important benefits for rural communities. Local energy security and heat comfort for many schools, kindergartens, hospitals, community centers, social centers will be increased. At the same time, the project will help create sustainable value added chains at the local level through commercializing the fuel straw and creating new green jobs, and as such contributing to poverty reduction and income generation in rural areas. UNDP finds this initiative to be an important step in promoting renewable energy in Moldova, with a significant potential for further replication", said Kaarina Immonen, UNDP Resident Representative.

Energy produced from biomass has multiple benefits. It reduces the dependency on imports, increases the country's energy security, it is affordable, stimulates the local economy and rural development, and creates opportunities for the development of new businesses and employment. In addition, the energy produced from renewable sources is environmentally friendly, reducing significantly green house gas emissions and pollution.

The 4-year Energy and Biomass Project is expected to be implemented over the period 2011-2014, with a total budget of 14.56 million Euro, provided by the European Union (14 million Euro) and co-funded  by UNDP Moldova (560,000 Euro).


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