EBRD and donors invest in green energy for lighting Moldova’s capital
The EBRD is making the switch from conventional high-voltage street lighting to low energy LED bulbs in Moldova’s capital, Chișinău.
The total investment, which includes an upgrade of the city’s major streets, amounts to €11.7 million granted by the EBRD and the EBRD-administrated Green Energy Special Fund funded by the Taiwanese International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), further topped up by €10.3 million from the European Investment Bank.
The EBRD is making the switch in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau from conventional high-pressure lanterns to low energy LED lights.
The investment is also supported by the EIB and TaiwanICDF.
Public spaces in Chișinău are currently lit by a network of mercury-based 34,000 lights. However, at present, only one third of them actually work. As well as being unreliable, they cause pollution and disposing of them also harms the environment. Poor lighting reduces safety in public places as well, especially when it comes to road accidents.
At the heart of this well overdue makeover is the modern technology of Led-Emitting Diodes, commonly referred to as LEDs.
LEDs are made of thousands of cool silvery pinpoint lights which take no time to switch on. While they do cost more initially, they have longer service lives than their predecessors, making them a far greener and efficient choice.
And the environment isn’t the only winner. Thanks to the LED technology, the annual energy consumption in Chișinău is predicted to be reduced by nearly 60 per cent, saving the city’s purse €106,280 every year.
The street lighting revamp is just part of EBRD investment in Chișinău’s infrastructure. The loan will also be used to bring the roads themselves up to date. The upgrades include asphalt, pavements, pedestrian areas, water drainage infrastructure and parking facilities. Fourteen kilometres of roads in total, most of them right in the city centre, will be upgraded as part of the investment. Six roads were already chosen for the priority list based on the traffic levels, parking demand and their condition.
Social gains from lighting up the night include a reduced crime rate and a friendlier urban ambience. In the past, the EBRD together with the EIB and EU also helped Chișinău acquire 102 trolleybuses to fulfil the very same objective: keeping public spaces modern and safe.
Dorin Chirtoacă, mayor of Chișinău, said: “Thanks to the EBRD’s investments we have had improvements in the city which haven’t been seen in Chișinău since 1989. First of all, we have started saving money as well as electricity. The city is less polluted because of less traffic and better roads. All of this is done with the aim of making the city friendlier and safer for the citizens.
It’s a step-by-step effort to improve all the important services in the city in order to transform them from Soviet to contemporary standards that offer citizens a better life.”
While many things give Chișinău its distinct character, the EBRD’s urban road project will make the city – and its identity – even more attractive and welcoming to both residents and visitors.