Moldova: a potential 1,000 MW of installed capacity in wind energy

Since May 2010 the Republic of Moldova has joined the European Energy Community and amended its gas and electricity legislation in line with the Energy Community Treaty and the core EU energy law.

The Republic is dependent on imported energy resources from the Russian Federation, Ukraine for gas, coal and oil and Romania for some electric energy. The country is a net importer of primary energy, with only three per cent of primary energy demand covered by domestic sources, according to a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) report.

Therefore the country is interested in the possibilities in renewable energy. The EBRD has given an estimate of a potential 1,000 MW of installed capacity in wind power exists in Moldova.

Moldova (formerly Moldavia) is a landlocked republic of hilly plains lying east of the Carpathian Mountains between the Prut and Dniester (Dnestr) rivers. The country is sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. Total area: 13,067 sq mi (33,843 sq km). Population (2010 est.): 4,317,483.

“I have asked several times questions to clients – why are you not in the Republic of Moldova – this is virgin territory, there is wind and in theory one could develop same wind farm projects as in Romania,” says Claudiu Munteanu-Jipescu. “But they do not trust the legal system yet and there is a lot of work to do.”

Many western investors are waiting to see whether the Republic’s pro-EU interim Government remains in place by the end of 2010 before they commit to any long-term plans.

The law of renewable energy form 2007 governs the legal framework for the renewable energy sector. Until 2020, Moldova aims to increase the share of alternative energies up to 20% of the total energy consumption.

Moldova is implementing a state program for exploitation of renewable energy. At present renewable energies represents only 5-6% form the total Energy consumption.

The total technical potential of the main types of renewable energy sources in Republic of Moldova is estimated at 3.65 million tons of oil equivalent, which exceeds 1.3 times the annual energy consumption in the country.

Renewable energy projects in Moldova are eligible for financing support from the Central European Initiative and a credit line of 20 million euros from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Plans to build a 400 kW transmission line to transfer the wind power installed in the eastern part of Moldova are being discussed. The line will connect the grids of Moldova to the grids of Romania.

In the meantime, some Romanian wind turbines developers are looking to Serbia to prospect for new projects.