Solar and biomass energy replaced old fireplaces in the kindergarten of Chetrosu

Photos: Ion Savin/UNDP Moldova

Children and educators of the kindergarten “Izvorasul” in Chetrosu village, Drochia district said “good bye” to old fireplaces that were burning their money and still kept them cold.

Since the last spring the kindergarten switched to a biomass heating system and hot water produced by solar energy. The investment of apr. 67,000 EUR was made possible thanks to the assistance provided by the European Union under the Moldova Energy and Biomass Project. The new technology will produce hot water and will heat all the rooms of the kindergarten for 136 children and educators.

“In the morning, especially on Mondays, it was as cold as outside”

Children were freezing in the morning, although the fireplace was started at night. The kindergarten has more than 2,000 m2, but many classes could not be used because it was too cold. As a result, the same room served as classroom, dormitory and locker room. In winter, the water would freeze in the bathrooms. The educators were forced to use electric heaters to warm up the rooms, which topped up the electricity bill.

It was very cold in the rooms. In the morning, especially on Mondays, it was as cold as outside. I dressed the children in warm clothes, but they would still get sick.”, said Mariana Ciuchitu.

She remembered how children were forced to sleep two in one bed because otherwise the beds would not fit in the few rooms heated by fireplaces.

“I am delighted that Teodor will have better conditions. He will not freeze; he would be able to wash his hands with hot water, and it means he will have better immunity and will be healthy.”, declared the woman.

The kindergarten came to life

The installation of two pellet-based boilers (250 kW total capacity) and of solar collectors accounted for EUR 66,950 which were supported financially by the European Union. The community contributed with MDL 325,830 (or about EUR 19,239) which were used to enhance the energy efficiency of the kindergarten building: changing doors, windows, etc.

Thanks to the new heating system of the kindergarten, the building came to life. The beds were returned to dormitories, and the rooms have more space for educational activities. Children and educators can use the concert hall for plays or sports competitions.

The educator Silvia Pascaru works at the kindergarten for more than 15 years and she said that the institution has never had such good conditions.

The new system was tested in the last weeks of the heating season and we ‘tasted’ the pleasure of having heating. Children can sleep in dormitories, and not in the classrooms. Now it is warm and nice.”, said the educator.

I will gladly bring Anastasia to the kindergarten because I know it is very nice here. It is completely different than before. Children would come for a few days, and afterwards we had to treat them for weeks for cold and flu.”, said Victoria Furtuna, parent.

Aurelia Doschinescu, the director of kindergarten “Izvorasul”, claims that the heating system was tested in April and savings are obvious.

We had to spend lots of money on wood, coal and electricity and we could heat only few rooms. But now, this money can heat the entire kindergarten.”, said the Director.

The kindergarten “Izvorasul” is one of two institutions active in Chetrosu village — a locality with more than 5,000 residents. The institution has 112 children. After renovation, the administration received more applications from the parents, and it has to prepare the rest of the rooms to be able to enrol more children.

At present, 236 kindergartens, schools, health centres are connected to biomass heating systems funded by the European Union under Moldova Energy and Biomass Project.

The Energy and Biomass Project, phase two, is a project carried out in 2015–2018, with a total budget of Euro 9.41 million provided by the European Union and is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. It continues the first phase of the project (2011–2014), with a total budget of Euro 14.56 million offered by the European Union (Euro 14 million) and UNDP (Euro 560,000). The national partner of the Energy and Biomass Project is the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.

The EU4Energy Initiative 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, 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 longer term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector. For more information visit:

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