Green kindergarten just beginning for renewable energy in Moldova

CHISINAU, Moldova – 7 February, 2012 – A kindergarten in Ermoclia is the first public building in the Stefan Voda district to be heated with energy produced from agricultural waste as part of UNDP's Energy and Biomass project.

“The rooms are as warm as when we used to heat the kindergarten with gas,” said kindergarten director Svetlana Şargarovschi.

“The only difference is that now we pay half the cost for heating.”

In addition to the new heating system, the community invested approximately $40,000 to install energy efficient windows and doors, made some improvements to the existing heating system, and built a storage areas for the straw that is used as a source of heating.

“This kindergarten marks the beginning of the wide-scale use of biomass-based fuel in the Republic of Moldova and creates the foundation for an entirely new industry,” said Minister of Economy Valeriu Lazar, at the opening ceremony of the kindergarten’s new heating system. 

He affirmed the Government’s commitment to increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy, allocating almost $15 million for 2012 to the Energy Efficiency Fund.“In addition to reducing the consumption of imported energy sources, we will be introducing agricultural waste into the economy. Normally about 700 tons of straw per year would remain on the fields, unused. As a source of energy, it is equal to a quarter of the annual natural gas import,” said the Minister,

“Europe shares with Moldova the recognition that our citizens need a secure supply of energy at affordable prices,” said Dirk Schuebel, Head of the European Union Delegation to Moldova.

“That is why EU policy focuses on creating a competitive internal energy market offering quality service at low prices, developing renewable energy sources, and promoting energy efficiency.”

I am confident that this event will significantly contribute to the promotion of renewable energy in Moldova and it will serve as a catalyst for a wide use of biomass-based fuel in Moldova.”

The kindergarten is one of the 43 public institutions in Moldova selected in 2011 to benefit from biomass-based heating systems In 2012, 12 new district (rayons) of Moldova have the chance to heat their schools, kindergartens, and community centres with biomass-based energy.

By 2014, at least 130 rural public institutions throughout Moldova will be heated with locally produced energy.

“We welcome the commitment of the Republic of Moldova to improve its energy system so that energy is more affordable to everyone,” said Kaarina Immonen, UNDP Moldova Resident Representative.

Over 95 percent of the country’s energy needs are imported, and come from  fossil fuels.

Energy produced from biomass reduces dependency on imports, increases the country’s energy security, reduces energy costs and supports local development - including new businesses and jobs.

It also helps to reduce green house gas emissions and environmental pollution.

The Energy and Biomass project (2011-2014) is implemented by UNDP and funded by the European Union (14 million euros) and UNDP in Moldova (560,000 euros).