The first villages to connect their public institutions to the straw-fired heating systems have been selected
Chisinau, September 22, 2011– The first 17 rural communities from the Republic of Moldova to connect their public institutions to the straw-fired heating systems were selected. All in all, 11 schools, 10 kindergartens and one community center will be heated during the winter time with locally produced energy. The rural public institutions will be connected to the biomass-based heating systems with the financial support of the Energy and Biomass Project, funded by the European Union and co-funded and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in Moldova.
More than 13,400 persons, of which almost 5,000 children will increase their heating comfort due to the new thermal equipment for biomass-based energy production. The selected rural communities (1) are located in Stefan Voda, Leova, Cantemir districts and Gagauz Yeri ATU – these being the first regions in which the Energy and Biomass Project launched its activities. During the implementation period, over 2011-2014, the Energy and Biomass Project will cover all districts of the Republic of Moldova – all in all, at least 130 rural public institutions will be connected to the heating systems based on agricultural waste, especially straw. The biggest part of the costs incurred for the installation of the heating systems shall be covered by the project, while the community will contribute with at least 15% of the total cost.
Ţiganca village from Cantemir district is one of the beneficiary communities of the Energy and Biomass Project. Thanks to the project, the school and the kindergarten from the village, which were heated until now with coal, will be connected to the biomass-based heating systems. “We had to pay until now 200,000 lei to heat the school and kindergarten during one cold season . With the new biomass-based heating systems, we will save up to 40%, and this money will be reinvested in the development of these institutions. Apart from making savings, we will also protect the environment. The straw will not be burnt anymore in the field, but will be transformed into ecological fuel”, stated Petru Gandrabur, the mayor of Ţiganca village, Cantemir district.
The rural communities were selected based on criteria through a gradual, competitive, and transparent process. Public meetings will be organized in every district to create awareness about the project and to encourage the rural communities to connect their public institutions to efficient straw-based heating systems. “The villages participating in the competition will be selected based on the following criteria: (1) secure source of straw balers’ supply as well as available financial resources for fuel procurement, (2) existence of adequate public buildings to be connected to straw-based heating systems(3) existence of storage facilities to store the straw balers, and (4) community’s commitment and motivation to access the alternative heating energy sources”, Alexandru Ursul, Moldova Energy and Biomass Project Manager said.
The Republic of Moldova is dependent on energy import, with over 95% of the country’s energy needs, mostly fossil fuel, being imported. At the same time, the country has huge potential to produce energy from renewable sources – a sector that has not yet been explored. The recent studies have shown that one of the most secure and easily accessible sources of alternative energy is straw and other cereal wastes. Annually, Moldova produces, in average, about 700 thousand tons of straw, which is equal, from energy perspective, to about 250 million m3 natural gas or about 25% of the country’s annual consumption.
The energy produced from biomass has more benefits at the local level. It increases the community’s energy security, has lower costs, enables the development of new business, and creates new jobs. Additionally, the energy produced from renewable sources reduces environment pollution and contributes to obtaining organic fertilizers as a result of biomass burning.
The Moldova Energy and Biomass Project will be implemented during 2011-2014. Its total budget is 14,56 million euro, granted by the European Union (14 million euro) and UNDP Moldova (560.000 euro).
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(1) The 17 rural communities which will connect their public institutions to the biomass-based heating systems in the framework of the Energy and Biomass Project are: Ermoclia, Olăneşti, Palanca, Viişoara, Talmaz, Copceac, popeasca, Crocmaz, Răscăieţi (Ştefan Vodă district), Cazangic, Selişte, Sărata Nouă (Leova district), Antoneşti, Ţiganca, Lărguţa (Cantemir district), Copceac, Carbalia (Gagauz Yeri ATU)