Energy-poor Moldova’s alternative way
Moldova, depending on different energy sources, is a poor country of Europe. The country completely depends on Russian gas. Despite the fact that the annual demand for natural gas is 3 bcm, Moldova pays too much for this volume. Therefore, gives prefers to get alternative and renewable energy, especially biomass, itself.
What is the purpose of EU4Energy?
In the recent days, a press-tour was organized for journalists of 6 member countries of the Eastern Partnership to Moldova within the EU4Energy communication project. EU4Energy initiative fully embraces EU’s support to improvement of energy supply, energy security in member-countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, promotion of energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in these countries. EU4Energy Initiative provides financial support to projects and programs on reforms in energy market, reduction of national energy dependent and consumption, ands takes measures for abovementioned purposes. These measures lead to elimination of ‘poverty’ in energy and reduction of payment for energy consumption.
According to EU4Energy Initiative, the EU cooperates with IEA and Energy Association and Energy Charter Secretariats via its part ‘EU4Energy Program’. The EU4Energy Program aims to improve quality of statistical data, formation of discussions on political decision-making in the region, improvement of legislation and legal-normative base, availability of information.
Renewal of legal-normative base, availability of investments, tightening of monitoring and conformity allow Eastern Partnership countries to coordinate their policy and energy markets with EU. Energy consumption in partnering is threefold more than in EU. This proves that the partnering countries have a potential of development.
People paying 40% of monthly salary for energy
The journalists firstly familiarized with activity of EU delegation to Moldova. Alexandre Darras, Attaché-Project Manager at the EU Delegation to Moldova, said that paying $50 for utility, including energy consumption, is very difficult for a Moldavian pensioner, who gets $70-90 of pension on average. According to Alexandre Darras, Moldavians spend about 40% of salaries on electricity costs: ‘Our goal is to reduce electricity costs of the people and promote use of biomass’.
Use of biomass saves money
Moldova imports 95% of natural gas and oil from Russia, Ina Prisăcaru-Zglavuţă, Communication and Media Officer of the Energy and Biomass Project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program, told journalists: ‘1,740,000 tonnes of biomass are produced in Moldova per year and it’s possible to convert it to energy. The country has 49% potential of biomass in the north, 22% in the centre and 29% in the south. This allows the country to produce 5,768,480 megawatt of energy per year, which is sufficient for heating kindergartens, schools and hospitals. Currently, only 15% of energy is produced from renewable in the country. Use of biomass saves money. This means € 3,871,500 in a year’.
Moldavian style ecological wood briquettes
As Moldova is an agrarian country, biomass is obtained from rural products such as shells of sunflower seeds. Millions of tonnes of sunflowers are planted in this country. Shells of sunflower seed are now used as firewood. Briquette is made of shell.
The journalists visited the city of Beltsy, where briquettes are produced. It was noted that there is demand for this product in all seasons of the year. Ecobricheta, funded by Energy and biomass project, produces 25-30 tonnes of briquette per year.
Schools with water heated by solar energy
The journalists also visited kindergartens, of which water is heated by solar energy, state enterprises with greenhouses heated by biomass. Even, some schools teach use of renewable energy sources. The pupils showed journalists how they get energy from sunbeams via satellite antenna by using mirrors. This energy heats the water in schools. Biomass project is successfully implemented in Moldova.
Visits to energy-poor countries, such as Moldova, prove that the world is seeking for cheaper energy sources. These countries use energy economically and promote use of alternative and renewable energy sources.
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