Given Moldova’s geographical position and falling technology costs, solar thermal installations are becoming much more economically feasible. Energy security should also be a priority for Moldova.
The Republic of Moldova is a landlocked country situated in South-East Europe. The country covers an area of 33,850 km². Moldova has a population of 3,550,000. The nation’s capital is Chisinau. The official language is Romanian, spoken language is Moldovan, recognized regional languages are Ukrainian, Russian and Gagauz.
Moldova’s energy sector relies heavily on imports of electricity and gas. The country produces only about 20 percent of its annual electricity consumption from natural gas-fired combined heat and electricity power plants.
Moldova’s renewables sector is less developed than those in regional markets and neighbouring countries. Moldova committed to a binding target of 17% of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020. Moldova has already reached its overall share of energy from renewable sources 2020 target, more than one-quarter of the energy consumed in the Republic of Moldova is “green” energy, this being practically totally oriented towards heating (biomass).
Only one hydro installation is operational in Moldova, the Stinca-Costesti hydropower plant (HPP) on the Prut River, with an installed capacity of 16 MW.
As of the end of 2019, several small (2 kW to 500 kW) solar projects have been built or are under construction in Moldova, with a cumulative capacity of 4.0 MW. Most generating units are of the type actively promoted by the government, and are mounted on the roofs of industrial, private and public buildings.
As of the end of 2019, several industrial wind installations with a total capacity of 35.6 MW have been built in Moldova, but the most considerable investments in this area are still to come.
Since Moldova is agriculturally oriented and has received support from the international community in this domain, biomass is one of the most developed sector amongst renewables. In the form of agricultural residues and direct and indirect wood fuel, biomass is used almost completely for heating purposes.
Moldova’s relief consists of plains and elevations, the latter being concentrated in the central part of the country. Altitudes vary between 5 and 429 meters. The territory of Moldova is situated mainly between the Pruth and Dniester rivers and touching on the Danube for about 340 meters. The uplands of the centre of the republic are interlaced by deep, flat valleys, ravines, and landslide-scoured depressions separated by sharp ridges. The Northern landscape of Moldova is characterized by the level plain of the Bălți steppe. In the South, the extensive Bugeac Plain is broken by numerous ravines and gullies, while, in the East, left-bank Moldova includes spurs of the Volyn-Podolsk Upland cut into by tributaries of the Dniester.
Moldova’s climate is moderate continental. The mean annual temperature is approximately 8-10 degrees Celsius. Moldova receives between 160 and 190 warm, sunny days each year. The yearly sunshine hours are 2125. Approximately 450-620 mm of rain falls on the country each year.
Despite recent progress, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. With a moderate climate and productive farmland, Moldova’s economy relies heavily on its agriculture sector. Moldova also depends on annual remittances of about $1.2 billion – almost 15% of GDP – from the roughly one million Moldovans working in Europe, Israel, Russia, and elsewhere. Soils are also the main natural wealth of the country, contributing to high agricultural productivity, more than half of the country’s land is arable, and most of that land is used to grow temporary crops. Agriculture constitutes 22.3 percent of Moldova’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Industry is another important component of Moldova’s economy, constituting 16.2 percent of GDP. The industrial sector of Moldova’s economy is concentrated mainly on food processing, with the machine-building, power-engineering, consumer-goods, and building-materials industries still undergoing development.
Unemployment rate: 4.99% (2019 est.)
Railway and motor transport are the basis of the republic’s transport system. Incoming freight includes coal, petroleum products, iron and nonferrous metals, timber, mineral fertilizers, and machines and equipment. Motor transport generally carries freight inside Moldova, over a road network that is nearly all paved but generally needing repair. River transport is of local importance, and air transportation links Moldova with other countries. The republic’s main airport is in Chișinău.