Lighting the way for climate-resilient energy in Moldova
In Moldova, climate change represents a serious threat to the energy sector. With higher temperatures, fluctuating rainfall, and an increasing number and severity of extreme weather events, climate impacts are decreasing the efficiency of power stations and pipelines, and compromising energy production and delivery. For a country with high dependence on imported energy, Moldova has experienced significant increases in the prices for natural gas and electricity over the past few years. Coupled with currency volatility, consumers throughout Moldova are struggling to pay their energy bills.
Energy shortages, and resulting high costs impinge on human development. From this perspective, the implementation of adaptation measures is not an optional enterprise, but a critical necessity.
Through the project “Supporting Moldova’s National Climate Change Adaptation Planning Process“,Viorel Neaga, the Director of a Business Incubator in Sîngerei town, Northern Moldova, has been able to implement the pilot project “Renewable energy for entrepreneurship”, which supports the use of modern technologies for renewable electricity production as a way of adaptating to climate change, since this promotes consumer autonomy, supply stability and medium-term economic profit.
The project is funded by the Austrian Ministry of Environment via the Austrian Development Agency and, with support from UNDP Moldova, is being implemented by the Ministry of Environment’s Climate Change Office.
“To meet the climate challenges it is necessary to apply existing interdisciplinary knowledge and to develop institutional capacities for the energy sector. The exploitation of renewable energy sources is a priority for Moldova, thus contributing to the promotion of distributed energy and increasing energy independence of rural areas. This is one of the priority solutions to climate change adaptation.”Valerian Colun, national consultant for the energy sector
Methods and Tools
Mr. Neaga’s Business Incubator received a grant to purchase and mount 54 photovoltaic solar panels with a total power of approximately 13 kW, in order to increase energy independence and promote distributed energy production to the 17 businesses within the Sîngerei Business Incubator.
The peasant farm “Ocara Stefan Dumitru” also benefited from a grant to purchase and install 54 photovoltaic solar panels with a total power of approximately 10.5 kW. The electricity produced by photovoltaic solar panels will be used both for refrigeration system, where fruits and gooseberries will be preserved, and to pump water in the water tank located in the garden.
Outcomes and Impacts
The recipients of these grants have increased their energy independence, and reduced their annual electricity consumption by 35-40%. By installing solar panels and switching to a renewable energy source, the project beneficiaries are increasing efficiency and reducing their vulnerability, particularly in rural areas of Moldova.
Following the successful implementation of these pilot projects in the energy sector, local producers are motivated to make plans for the future, applying technologies that contribute to adaptation and at the same time, that increase energy security and improve the welfare of the rural population. These pilot projects are lighting the way for climate-resilient energy in Moldova, and showcasing how stable energy production and delivery can be achieved through a variety of measures.
Highlights of the project
- 17 businesses and their 47 employees in the Sîngerei Business Incubator will benefit from the advantages offered by the pilot projects and will produce electricity for itself;
- Growing annually at least 3 tons of gooseberries on an area of 70 acres;
- Reducing annual electricity consumption by 35-40%.
- Reducing annual CO2 emissions by over 6.5 tons; and
- Promoting environmentally friendly technologies.