Heating and cooling represent the largest share of energy consumption, accounting for about half of global total. District energy systems are one of the key infrastructures that can enable the integration of renewables in meeting the heating and cooling needs in cities. Enabling technologies such as large-scale heat pumps and the development of a new generation of district heating and cooling systems, combined with energy efficiency measures in the networks and building, can also support more renewables, especially those occurring at low temperatures, to be integrated into the heating and cooling systems.
Moldova has huge renewable potential that can be used for district heating systems or decentralised heating systems. Urgent actions are needed to improve efficient district heating systems and decentralised stoves, and to increase the share of renewables. In collaboration with the Moldavian Ministry of Energy, Moldavian Energy Efficiency Agency, Energy Community Secretariat and the EU4Energy, IRENA will support the government of Moldova to organise a workshop to help policymakers and relevant stakeholders in deploying sustainable renewable energy solutions in the residential heating and cooling of Moldova.
The main aim of the capacity building was to enhance decarbonisation and heat transition efforts in Moldova through the integration of renewable energy solutions in district heating systems, as well as decentralised renewable heating solutions. It covered several themes, including Strategic Heating and Cooling Planning (SHCP), enabling framework conditions, and possible solutions for addressing technical barriers in the heating sector.
The capacity building was ideal for policy makers/cities/municipalities/district heating companies which are in the process of:
- Developing new district heating and cooling (DHC) infrastructure,
- Expanding/modernising/refurbishing existing DHC systems, or
- Switching from the use of fossil fuels to modern renewables, including modern biomass, in their heating and cooling sector.
The outcomes of the capacity building complemented the efforts of the country to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP). The capacity building aimed to equip heating and cooling stakeholders (including policymakers at the national and local levels), urban planners, district energy operators/utilities, etc. with knowledge on the options and tools for integrating renewable energy sources in district heating and cooling networks. These included but not limited to the following groups:
- Relevant national government representatives,
- Relevant representatives from municipalities planning to integrate RE in district heating systems,
- District heating utilities representatives,
- District heating and cooling industry representatives (including operators, equipment manufacturers, distributors, installers, etc),
- Relevant representatives from academia and research institutions,
- Relevant international development and financial institutions.
The workshop incorporated Q&A sessions as well as a group activity to allow for discussions between the speakers and the participants.
Interpretation services were available during the workshop (English-Romanian-English).