Investments by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in energy efficiency and renewable energy in Moldova have reached €100 million under the EBRD’s Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI).
This milestone will be announced in Chisinau during the Moldova Eco-Energetică awards ceremony on 6 December that celebrates the best initiatives in Moldova’s sustainable energy sector.
Moldova Eco-Energetică – staged by the Moldovan Economy Ministry, with support from the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme – brings together high-level officials as well as representatives from the diplomatic community, international organisations, civil society and academia.
Octavian Costaș, the acting head of the EBRD’s Resident Office in Chisinau, said: “Strong dependence on energy imports is one of the biggest challenges facing Moldova. Helping the country address this by investing in alternative energy sources and improving energy efficiency, in both the corporate and residential sectors, is at the core of the EBRD’s strategy in Moldova. Our energy efficiency agenda encompasses a wide range of sectors: we are working with businesses, banks, utilities, municipalities and households to help them move towards their own energy independence and enhance their energy efficiency, which will save them both energy and money.”
To date, around 100 private companies have received financing from the EBRD via Moldovan partner banks, under the extended Moldovan Sustainable Energy Financing Facilities (MoSEFF I and II), which brings EBRD financing for energy efficiency in corporate sector to almost €25 million, of almost €40 million available under the facilities.
In addition, almost 100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have received advice from specialised consultants on how to save energy, as part of the Energy Efficiency Initiative of the EBRD’s Business Advisory Services, and backed by the Swedish government.
Furthermore, households are saving energy and paying lower bills thanks to EBRD financing, via partner banks, of energy-saving improvements in their homes under the €35 million Moldovan Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (MoREEFF).
Both MoSEFF and MoREEFF are supported by comprehensive technical assistance, and by incentive grants for partner banks and sub-borrowers. This support is provided by the European Commission through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) and TACIS funds administered by INOGATE, and by the Swedish government through SIDA.
Beyond positively reflecting on businesses and people’s lives, these investments bring significant environmental benefits. Sustainable energy projects in Moldova are expected to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 95,000 tonnes.
In order to promote the Moldovan energy agenda, the EBRD has been engaged in an intensive policy dialogue with the government and regulators. In 2011 the Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government to scale up investments in the sustainable energy sector, improve the business environment for such investments and remove key barriers to market development.
The efficient use of energy and sustainable energy investments could be significantly boosted with an improvement in policies and regulations. The EBRD is supporting the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development in amending the Law on Energy Efficiency and the Housing Codes. This cooperation is aimed at creating a legal framework that will facilitate home-owners’ associations and condominiums to gain access to funding from partner banks for investments in more efficient materials and equipment. The Bank is working with ANRE – Moldova’s energy regulator – on introducing the feed-in tariffs methodology for renewable energy. Furthermore, the EBRD is co-chairing the recently created advisory body to the Ministry of Economy, which brings together policy-makers, SMEs and donors to coordinate energy efficiency efforts, which is aimed at helping Moldova become less energy intensive.
Most recently, Moldova has joined the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) in a move designed to significantly boost support for energy efficiency and reduce harmful emissions. The partnership, which is managed by the EBRD, will soon be able to implement its first projects in Moldova.
Investing in sustainable energy is one of the EBRD’s top priorities in Moldova. In 2013, 25 per cent of the Bank’s projects signed in the country were sustainable energy projects.