Journalists from the Eastern Partners countries discover Moldova’s experience in transition to green energy
Twelve journalists from Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan visited the Republic of Moldova on 21-24 may to learn about the results of the Energy and Biomass Project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The visit took place in the framework of the EU4Energy Initiative.
The journalists visited a kindergarten in the town of Nisporeni, where 270 children have hot water thanks to solar panels installed with the help of the Energy and Biomass Project. During winter, the entire surface of the kindergarten is heated with green energy produced in the Republic of Moldova.
To heat its rooms, the kindergarten, together with the city hall, buys pellets produced in Moldova, meaning the money it spends on energy remains in the country.
Another stop on the tour was the briquette production line in the city of Balti. Ludmila Abramciuc and Ivan Damaschin are beneficiaries of the Energy and Biomass Project grant programme, thanks to which they were able to buy, and repay in instalments, the necessary equipment for biofuel production.
The journalists also attended a lesson on renewable energy at a school in Chiscareni village, Sangerei district. Together with the students of “Nicolae Casso” school, they answered questions on the green energy sector, as well as making a parabolic solar collector. Professor Nicolae Spanu guided the team through this.
The school in Chiscareni village is also the first public institution in the Republic of Moldova to have switched to biomass heating. In 2005, thanks to a project funded by the World Bank, a biomass power plant using straw bales was installed at the school. To this day, the institution continues to benefit from clean energy.
Meanwhile, the community has connected other public institutions to green energy. The kindergarten in the village has electricity produced by photovoltaic panels and hot water from solar collectors. Next winter, the city hall will replace its stoves with a biomass heating system, installed with the help of European funds through the Energy and Biomass Project.
The EU-funded and UNDP-implemented Energy and Biomass Project in Moldova is part of the EU4Energy Initiative and aims to contribute to the reliable, competitive and sustainable production of energy from biomass, which is the most viable and available source of renewable energy in the Republic of Moldova.
EU4Energy covers all EU support to improve energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables in the Eastern Partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine). It does this by financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and to reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the long term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector.
Georgia-Estonia Business Forum was held at the Tbilisi Marriot Hotel. The Forum was co-organized by the Georgian and Estonian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid addressed the participants of the Forum at the closing ceremony.
Giorgi Cherkezishvili, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia made a special presentation on Georgia’s investment environment in the first part of the Forum. The Minister of Infrastructure of Georgia, Zurab Alavidze also offered the presentation to the Estonian Business Delegation. Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of Estonia Kadri Simson informed Georgian companies about the investment potential of Estonia.
Giorgi Cherkezishvili noted that economic cooperation between Georgia and Estonia is actively developing, the amount of foreign direct investments from Estonia has increased recently and the tourism flow is also increasing and therefore, this forum is the confirmation a very high interest and activity of the Estonian companies.
Estonian Business Delegation is visiting Georgia in the framework of Estonian President’s official visit. The field of interest of the Estonian companies are very large and include such sectors as real estate, construction, furniture manufacturing, food industry, transport and logistics, shipping equipment, tourism, business consulting, architecture, defense, energy, legal companies and television/entertainment programs.
Over 100 Georgian companies participated in the business Forum following the invitation of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. B2B meetings are also scheduled for the companies where Georgian and Estonian businesspeople will have the chance to talk to their potential business partners and discuss prospects of future cooperation. The Estonian Business Delegation consists of 29 members representing the largest Estonian companies.
It is worth mentioning that in 2017 Georgia and Estonia mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations.
According to the data of January-September 2017, trade turnover between Georgia and Estonia is increased by 6% and reached 7.29 million USD.
According to the data of 2016, Estonian investment to Georgia amounted to 18,66 million USD, which is by 52% higher indicator compared to the previous year.
The number of tourists is increasing gradually. According to the data of January-September 2017, the number of visitors from Estonia is increased by 40% compared to the same period of the previous year.
On June 13, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, within the framework of the official visit to Azerbaijan, held the first meeting with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Ilham Aliyev and Giorgi Gakharia talked about the current trade-economic relations between the two countries and the prospects of the development of the transit capabilities. It was noted at the meeting that the trade turnover between Georgia and Azerbaijan is increased during the last four months and this trend should be continued in the future.
“Energy carriers and transportation are the largest components in our trading balance. However, we should encourage cooperation in other directions as well as facilitate the bilateral trade. During the past four months our trade turnover has increased and we have to do everything to keep this trend in progress. We also talked about cooperation in the tourism sector with the President of Azerbaijan. We believe that it is important to use the potential of the two countries in order to increase the number of tourists and to attract them easily” – Giorgi Gakharia stated after the completion of the meeting.
Minister confirmed that the Silk Road Forum and the transit corridors, which are of outmost importance for the both countries, also were the topical issues during the conversation with Ilham Aliyev. According to Giorgi Gakharia, development of the East-West corridor was discussed alongside the development of the South-North transportation corridor.
Giorgi Gakharia, within the framework of the v two-day visit, will hold the meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan as well as with the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Transport.
The Brussels visit of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili continues. The Head of Georgian Government met with Miguel Arias Cañete (EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy). The parties discussed core issues pertaining to energy cooperation and topics related to energy security.
Emphasis was placed on the necessity to draw EU and Georgian energy policies closer, the development of energy networks, and Georgia's transit potential. The Prime Minister of Georgia stressed the importance of the signed protocol on Georgia's accession to the Energy Community Treaty.
It was stated at the meeting that the Georgian Government prioritizes the generation of more capacities using renewable energy resources. To this end, Georgia untapped its hydro resources and other sources of renewable energy in order to increase clean energy production. The parties commended the growing interest of European companies in the production of clean energy.
The discussion also involved the importance of developing energy and transport corridors, which, according to the parties, will ensure deeper economic relations, stronger energy security, and the region's economic development and stability.
The meeting was held under the Brussels visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia, and it was attended by Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze and Deputy Energy Minister Mariam Valishvili.