Energy Appendix


1.      Republic of Moldova: Energy sector status. Renewable Energy potential and current status

The current energy status (Moldova imports approximately 96% of its needed energy resources) justifies an analysis of the national Renewable Energy potential. In this context, for better framing the role of the Renewable Energy in Moldovan economy, this analysis starts with a presentation of the current energy sector status.


1.1.      Moldova current Energy sector status

Moldovan energy sector status is characterized by four main elements:

§         Significant difficulties within the national economy;

§         Lack of local energy resources;

§         Lack of funds coupled with the country’s debt accumulated towards external gas suppliers (Russia) and electricity suppliers (Ukraine and Romania). That deficit was, as far back as September 1997, approximately US $270 million;

§         Energy system inefficiency[1]: energy intensity reaches 1.7 tcf/103$US (versus 0.15 for the Union European, 0.50 in Hungary, 0.60 in Poland, 0.82 in Slovakia or 1.28 in Romania).


Table 2 Average rates of energy resources in the producing cost price



Standard UE




0.205 tcf/t


0.137 tcf/t


0.690 tcf/t


0.366 tcf/t


0.295 tcf/(103 units)


0.187 tcf/(103 units)

Reinforced concrete Buildings

0.057 tcf/m3




0.181 tcf/kWh




0.169 tcf/Gcal




Moldova has old and depreciating power stations. Electrical power underproduction is about 608 MW at peak-hours and 250 MW at off-peak hours. Tables 3 and 4 reflect the main power stations characteristics, and year 2001 Moldovan energy balance respectively.


Table 3. Main Moldovan power stations characteristics

Power Station


Pinst (MW)1)

Pavail (MW)2)


CET 1 Chisinau





CET 2 Chisinau





CET Nord Balti















Seasonal sources3)



Depends on load


1) Installed capacity; 2) Available Electrical Power; 3)Briceni, Cupcini and Falesti Sugar Factories


Table 4. 2001 Moldova Energy balance






In stock



Coal (10-3 t)






Diesel (10-3 t)






Fuel oil (10-3 t)






Gasoline (10-3 t)






Natural Gas (10-6 Nm3)






Liquefied Gas (10-3 t)






Electricity (10-3MWh)






Thermal energy (10-3Gcal)






1) Including residential electricity theft


In 2002, the Moldovan national economy consumed 2377 thousand tcf. The cost of energy and energy resources annually consumed reached US $500 million, respectively approx. 30% of GNP (versus 2.6% in Japan, 4.1% in USA, 4.1% in Germany, 9.8% in Bulgaria, 16% in Poland or 18% in Romania).

These statistics on the Moldovan energy sector leads us to the following conclusions:

§         The Republic of Moldova is completely dependent on imported energy resources. The country does not have an internal resource of coal, gas or petroleum. Moreover, electrical production is insufficient and Moldova must permanently import the deficit from neighbours (Romania and Ukraine);

§         The annual cost of energy and energy resources is immense; any measures to save energy will improve significantly the national financial balance sheet;

§         Supporting Renewable Energy development seems an obvious a priority of the national conservation energy policy.


1.2.      Moldova Renewable Energy potential and current status

Renewable Energy resources balance comparison between years 1999 and 2000 is presented in table 5. The data presented data are however incomplete, in that there is not complete data regarding solar energy used to dry medicinal plants and tobacco or about wood waste energy used for heating by rural population.

Table 5 Energy resources balance in the Republic of Moldova

Renewable Energy Resources

Year 1999 data

Year 2000 data




Agricultural waste




Wood waste


Total local Energy Resources



Imported Energy Resources



Total Energy Resources




Worldwide experience of Renewable Energy is developing in the following sectors:

§         Wind Energy, for mechanical or electrical energy production;

§         Solar Energy, used for production of:

o       Low heat (temperatures under 150 degree C);

o       High heat (temperatures over 150 degree C)

o       Photovoltaic electricity;

§         Biomass, used, according to its structure and organic mass content, for:

o       Combustion, thermal energy production;

o       Anaerobic digestion for biogas production;

o       Bio-combustible production for Diesel engines;

o       Methanol production, such as additive in combustion engines gasoline

o       Gas production by pyrolyse;

§         Hydraulic energy;

§         Geothermal energy;

§         Waves energy;

§         Tide power.


Renewable Energy potential varies much from one country to another. The Republic of Moldova disposes the following forms of Renewable Resources: wind, solar, biomass and hydraulic.

Renewable Resources used in Moldova in 2001 was 83.6 thousand toe, respectively 4.94% of the total energy consumption. Analyzing available data, it was observed that Renewable Energy increased in total energy consumption of 4.7% in 2000 and 9.8% in 2001. If Moldova keeps the same annual increasing rate, respectively 9.8% per year, in 2010 the Renewable Energy will represent approximately 10 % of the total country energy consumption, a value in complete agreement with the National Energy Conservation Strategy. Thus, Energy Conservation Programme until year 2010 has the potential to save over 500 thousand toe from Renewable Energy, structured as follows:

§         Wind Energy, 25 thousand toe, respectively 5.0% of Renewable Resources;

§         Solar Energy, 50 thousand toe, respectively 10.0% of Renewable Resources;

§         Biomass Energy, 352 thousand toe, respectively 70.5% of Renewable Resources;

§         Hydro Energy, 73 thousand toe, respectively 14.5% of Renewable Resources;


a) Wind Energy current status and potential

Regional statistical data show that between the two world wars there were a large number of wind installations. In 1923 6208 wind flourmills were documented. During 1960s there were 350 wind mechanical installations for animal husbandry needs. Between 1960 and 1965 all existing wind installations were replaced by electric. Today, Moldova does not count any modern wind installations, and there is only some small power wind equipment (with capacity from 1 to 2.5 kW), designed and exploited by amateurs.


Non-extensive studies developed at the beginning of the 1990s concluded that Moldovan geography is not favourable for the use of wind installations. Negative appraisals were based on meteorological data of the Chisinau Weather Station. These studies did not hold into account the poor geographic positioning of the Weather Station(obstacles and rugged terrain). In fact, other scientific research and measurements showed that Moldova has favourable zones for wind installation operations. Thus, measurements made between years 1990 and 1999 at a weather station located in the south of the country showed that, at 10m over ground, average wind currents are 3-7 m/s. This speed allows efficient operation of modern wind installations. Moreover, wind speed increases with height and would make more efficient the use of wind installations, at a typical construction height of 60-70 m over ground.


In 2001, Technical University started a research project having the goal to carry out the Wind Atlas of the Republic of Moldova. Financed by the Supreme Council for Research and Technological Development and the Technical University, the project was estimated to take 3 years. However, due to the limited number of measurement systems available, the schedule for calculations over 50 m above ground required 2 additional years.

Partial available results show that there are favourable zones for wind installations, with wind speeds equal or exceeding 7 m/s at 50 m and more over ground.


In order to achieve the Energy Strategy’s aim concerning Wind Resources, it is necessary to install through 2010 between 26 and 34 MW in wind power stations. An estimation of the project implementation is presented in Table 6.


Table 6. Estimation of Wind Energy project development

Total wind stations new electrical installed capacity

26-34 MW

Annual electrical energy produced by wind

88.5-111.0 GWh

Use rate of installed capacity



26-34 million euros

Annual fuel substituted

20-25 thousand toe

Annual energy substituted cost2)

4.4-5.7 million euros

Annual CO2 emissions reducing

80-100 thousand tonnes

New jobs created


1) Currently specific cost is 1000 euro/kW; 2) Currently price is 0.0517 euro/kWh


b) Solar Energy current status and potential

In Moldova, solar energy is using for:

§         Drying medicinal plantsand tobacco. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, approximately 80% of annual tobacco harvest is traditionally dried using solar heat. If it considers 2002-year tobacco’s production as reference, respectively 14,000 t, it estimates at 7,400 toe the annually quantity of substituted fuel. Supplementary, approximately 1,500 t/year fruits and medicinal plants are dried using solar energy. In fact, estimated potential for this operation is ten times higher. Primary energy sources used for dried fruits and medicinal plants arewooden biomass and solar energy (data missing on the consumed quantities);

  • Heating water for domestic use. First Moldovan research on solar energy used to heat water was carried out in the middle of the last century. But low energy prices at that time and lack of policy to promote renewable resources stopped implementation of this equipment. Later, in the ninth decade of the last century, three Moldovan institutions designed and built solar installations to heat water. Fifteen houses, public institutions and companies were equipped with their solar equipment. At present, due to components’ bad quality and lack of maintenance, solar equipment installed between 1982 and 1990 is non functional.  Continuing the tradition, two other Moldovan companies have designed solar installations since 1993 to heat water. As a result of their acceptance, approximately 140 solar systems should be installed by 2003;

§         Producing electricity in photovoltaic installations. There are a few existing experimental installations to supply water pumps and weatherstationcommunication systems. Due to all consumeraccess to electrical supply network, PV development is limited at certain sectors, likesmall power irrigation or supply isolated consumers (anti-rain rackets launching stations, forest stations).


Solar energy quantity delivered on Earth depends on several factors, among which sun brightness and current distance between Sun and our planet. For the Republic of Moldova, theoretical (maximum) sun brightness period is 4450 h/year. In fact, the real value is 2100-2300 h/year, approximately 50% of the maximum theoretical period. The most bright Moldovan period is from April to September, representing more that 75% of the total annual brightness period. Solar radiation is 3.5% more significant in central than in north region, and 2.6% in north that in south region.

In order to achieve the Energy Strategy’s aim concerning Solar Resources, it is necessary to install through 2010 one million m2 solar installations for water heating and 80 thousand m2 solar installations for agricultural products drying. An estimation of the project implementation is presented in Table 7.


Table 7. Estimation of Solar Energy project development


Water Heating

Agricultural products drying

Solar installations

1 million m2

80 thousand m2


150 million euros

3.2 million euros

Annual fuel substituted

37 thousand toe

3 thousand toe

Annual energy substituted cost

9.25 million euros

0.75 million euros

Annual CO2 emissions reducing

190 thousand tonnes

15.2 thousand tonnes

New jobs created



At the same time, the potential of PV utilization was investigated. Also, it was estimated that 5850 isolated consumers (anti-rain rackets launching stations and forest stations) should be supplied by PV solar energy. An estimation of the project implementation is presented in Table 8.


Table 8. Moldova potential of PV Solar Energy

Total installed PV number until 2010 year


Total electrical installed power

6300 kW


19 million euros

Annual fuel substituted

0.75 thousand toe

Annual energy substituted cost

0.19 million euros

Annual CO2 emissions reducing

6.3 thousand tonnes

New jobs created


1) 500 new jobs in PV exploitation and 6000 in agriculture, connected to the PV utilization


c) Biomass Energy current status and potential

Moldova uses renewable energy of biomass in two directions:

§         Combustion wood, agricultural and wooden wastes, burned for heating and cooking needs.

Annually, The Forestry State Agency provides 250-300 thousand m3 in combustion woods. One m3 combustion wood price, including transport, is approximately US $15. According to statistical available data, in 2001, a conventional family living in the rural sector used approximately 70 kg combustion wood. In reality, average family consumption is much more significant, but no coherent data are available because of the lack of detailed studies.

In 1999, Moldova implemented his first experimental installation producing briquettes from agricultural wastes, like sunflower and corn stalk, straw, etc. Installation, financed by the Netherlands Government and managed by Agrobioenergia Company, produces 250 kg briquettes per hour, for US $20-25 per briquettes tonne operation cost;

§         Zoocultural residues, which, by fermentation, produce biogas and organic fertilizer.

Moldova has five exhaust water purification stations provided with anaerobic treatment installations and biogas collecting equipment. Other installations, built 20 years ago, are not in operation because of their degraded status, lack of use, reparation and maintenance. Limited financial resources and unrewarded competence and legislation in this field, also contribute.

Recently, two projects were developed with Netherlands assistance:

o       In 2000, Dutch NGO Novib and Moldovan NGO Agroeco developed  an individual anaerobic fermentation installation with 10 m3 installed capacity, for the Grigoras family farm, from the Soroca region;

o       In 2002, within the framework of the Netherlands Programme for cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe, an installation was put into service intended for the fermentation of 700 m3 of waste from a poultry farm. Located in the Vadul-lui-Voda region, the installation produces biogas for a cogeneration engine with an installed capacity of 87 kWe and 116 kWth.


The potential of wood combustion and agricultural and wooden wastes in Moldova is estimated at 820 thousand toe, respectively 48.4% from the total gross energy resources consumption in 2001 year. According to data published in Energy Balance for year 2001, Moldova consumed 6.8% from available biomass quantity (other sources indicate 23%).

In order to achieve the Energy Strategy’s aim concerning Wood Combustion and Agricultural and Wooden Wastes Resources, it is necessary to increase consumption at 300 thousand toe. An estimation of the project implementation is presented in Table 9.


Table 9. Moldova potential of wood combustion and agricultural and woodenness wastes




Annual biomass consumption

56 thousand toe

300 thousand toe

Biomass annual cost

2.8 million euros

15 million euros

Annual fuel substituted

56 thousand toe

300 thousand toe

Annual energy substituted cost

14 million euros

75 million euros

Annual CO2 emissions reducing

106 thousand tonnes

570 thousand tonnes


The potential of biogas production in Moldova is estimate at 3700 thousand m3.

In order to achieve the Energy Strategy’s aim concerning Biogas Resources, it is necessary to increase the fermentation installation capacity at 7100 m3. An estimation of the project implementation is presented in Table 10.


The potential of bio-fuel in Moldova is unknown. Technological Center ``Tehnores,`` which elaborated the technology to produce bio-fuel oil for Diesel engines from rape seed (Brassicaoleracea), estimates it is rational to sow with rape 2.5% from arable ground (respectively 50 000 ha) until 2010. In this context, the Center will be able to produce annually 52.5 thousand tonnes of bio-fuel and to insure 26% of fuel needs for agricultural works. Nevertheless, until now no existing study presents economic profitability of sowing one hectare with rape versus one hectare with foodstuffs (corn, sunflower, wheat etc.).


Table 10. Moldova biogas potential




Total fermentation installations’ capacity

710 m3

7100 m3

Annual biogas produced

370 thousand m3

3700 thousand m3


0.35 million euros

3.5 million euros

Annual fuel substituted

0.2 thousand toe

2.0 thousand toe

Annual energy substituted cost

0.05 million euros

0.5 million euros

Annual CO2 emissions reducing

0.265 thousand tonnes

2.650 thousand tonnes


An estimation of the bio-fuel project implementation is presented in Table 11.


Table 11. Moldova bio-fuel potential

Arable/energetic ground required until year 2010

50 thousand ha

Annual bio-fuel produced

52.5 thousand tonnes


0.35 million euros

Annual fuel substituted

50 thousand toe

Annual energy substituted cost

12.5 million euros

Annual CO2 emissions reducing

165 thousand tonnes


d) Hydraulic Energy current status and potential

Hydro-stations are generally associated with electricity production. Generally, size is the element that affects a hydro-station to Renewable Resources category. In a large consideration, Renewable Resource includes small power hydro-stations, but this classification remains rather random. According to the installed capacity, Union European proposes the following under-classification for small power hydro-stations:

§         Small power hydro-stations (from 5 MW to 10 MW);

§         Micro hydro-stations (from 100 kW to 5 MW);

§         Pico hydro-stations (under 100 kW).

Other countries, with more significant hydro potential, like Canada or China, consider the high limit of the Small power hydro-stations to be 50 MW.


Moldova has two small power hydro-stations: one at Dubasari, in Transnistria (48 MW installed capacity) and other at Costesti (16 MW installed capacity).

There were identified 6 pico hydro-stations, built by individuals or economic agencies and placed on already existing accumulation system of  lakes and drainage. Their total installed power is 141 kW.


The Moldova hydro potential is estimated at 3 billion kWh/year, including the potential of a large river (1.9 billions kWh/year) and small river (1.1 billions kWh/year). An estimation of the hydropower project implementation is presented in Table 12.


Table 12. Moldova hydropower potential




Electrical installed capacity:

Big stations

Small stations

16 MW

16 MW


60 MW

24 MW


Annual electricity produced

73 thousand MWh

315.4 GWh



66 million euros

Annual fuel substituted

17 thousand toe

71.3 thousand toe

Annual energy substituted cost

4.3 million euros

17.8 million euros

Annual CO2 emissions reducing

9.8 thousand tonnes

42.6 thousand tonnes


1.3.      Barriers to the use of Renewable Energy

Several barriers constrict the use of renewable Energy. According to their field, they can be classified in five categories:

a) Barriers characteristic to all types of Renewable Energy

§         Lack of database on renewable energy potential. Some available information but dispersed between several institutions;

§         Lack of free and easy access to existing information on local Renewable Energy;

§         Low awareness and skills level of engineers, technicians, investors and persons in charge in the field of Renewable Energy;

§         Lack of legislative framework to stipulate relations between Renewable Energy Producers and national electrical grid, to regulate tariff policy and to stimulate investors;

§         Low level of respect of the law on environment;

§         Important investments required;

§         Lack of local specific energy equipment production (excluding installations for bio-fuel production);

§         Lack of international cooperation in order to transfer Renewable Energy technology and equipment;


b) Barriers characteristic to Wind Energy Resources

§         Lack of regional Winds Map, especially for vertical elevation over 30 m;

§         Lack of identification of high potential wind zones;

§         Local low knowledge level in this filed;


c) Barriers characteristic to Solar Energy Resources

§         Low knowledge level of population (especially rural population) about modern means to use solar energy;

§         Lack of local basic technology efficient solar projects;

§         Lack of state incentives towards single sourcing production of solar installations for water heating;


d) Barriers characteristic to Biomass Energy Resources

§         Lack of correct, veracious information about agricultural biomass;

§         Lack of Case Study on efficiency and economic profitability in replacement of traditional cultures by modern ones;

§         Lack of agronomic Case Study on rape culture in Moldova;

§         Low of knowledge level of persons in charge of mandates  to eliminate methane in atmosphere, and in ground and ground water pollution by natural organic waste degradation;

§         Low knowledge level of general population, especially rural population, on anaerobic fermentation process;

§         Strong lobby supporting commercial companies which import traditional fuels.


e) Barriers characteristic to Hydro Energy Resources

§         Lack of database on rivers with hydro potential;

§         Lake of actualization data on existing hydro potential;


1.4.      Measures to promote and stimulate the usage of Renewable Energy in Moldova

Considering the rate at which primary energy resources are imported by the Republic of Moldova, Renewable Energy usage could hold a significant role in the government energy policy. This is why the Renewable Energy potential constitutes a priority for local specialists in order to reduce the national dependence on the importation of energy. Important legislative documents, like the Law on energy conservation, National Energy Strategy through the year 2010, the Government’s Decree regarding the use of renewable resources or National Strategy for Consistent Development, establish measures and timing for the national renewable energy policy. Therefore, measures to promote and stimulate the usage of Renewable Resources in Moldova are classified in four fields:

a) Legislative

§         Regulate the access of Renewable Energy producers to electrical distribution networks (by reviewing the Law on electricity);

§         Expedite the elaboration of the Law regarding the use of Renewable Energy (presently this sector is regulated by the Government Decree regarding the use of renewable resources) and the National Fund of Energy Conservation Activity’s Regulation.


b) Institutional

Presently Moldova does not have a Winds Atlas, Winds Land Register, Solar radiation Atlas, Available Wastes Catalogue (for combustion wood, agricultural and wooden wastes, zoocultural residues) or small rivers hydro-energetic potential map. Part of these data is found dispersed in several ministries, but the most critical parts of information do not exist. In this context, it is necessary to create an agency of authority, or to charge an existing body to manage renewable resources activity, and to connect and link information concerning renewable energy.


c) Educational

Lack of education policy in the field of Renewable Energy can substantial reduce or even cancel efforts developed in this sector. Adult populations of the Republic of Moldova grew up in a society where energy prices were low and energy resources were found in abundance. This energy situation did not justify the rational use of energy or the development of Renewable Energy alternative. Elimination of this educational barrier requires time and effort.

Another educational point to be improved is the participation of the junior specialists at the development of the Renewable Resources market. Presently, specialists working in Renewable Energy sector were trained 10-20 years ago. Thus, it is necessary to prepare and train young specialists in research and development Renewable Energy activities.


d) Technological

Implementation of Renewable Energy technologies imposes specific rules for each region/country. In Moldova, the use of Renewable Energy is required due to the lack of natural resources, not because of difficult accessibility to traditional energy. All of the Moldovan population is connected to the national electrical grid, but there is a strong need to include local energy resources in the energy circuit. In this context, Moldovan Renewable Energy Strategy drew up a priority list of measurements to be undertaken:

  • Large Wind Station (installed capacity upper 500 kW), connected to the national electrical grid;
  • Small Wind Station (installed capacity from 1 to 5 kW), to pump water;
  • Small Wind Station (installed capacity from 1 to 10 kW), to produce heat;
  • Solar Station to heat water in rural zone and to dry vegetables, fruits, tobacco and medicinal plants;
  • Autonomous PV Installations, to supply small isolated consumers;
  • Individual and collective biogas installations;
  • In-house installations to produce bio-fuel from rape seed.

[1] Table 2 shows average rates of energy resources in the producing cost price