Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
As a country, the Republic of Moldova is a net energy importer, with gas having a share twice that of the typical share in European countries, which makes the reliability of supplies and efficiency of energy use two important parts of its energy strategy. Households consume half of the available energy, compared to only one quarter in European countries, all of them being connected to the electricity grid and have physical access to energy. Also, a great majority of households are connected to the gas pipe network in the urban areas, but the connection index is much smaller in the rural areas. Despite physical accessibility of the infrastructure, there is an issue with the financial affordability of energy, especially in winter. Due to low incomes, in the cold period of the year many households resort to more traditional, but less efficient, sources of heating, such as wood-fired stoves. However, this opportunity is mostly available in villages and small towns, whereas in big towns households accumulate arrears on their energy bills. According to the energy strategy analysis, in Chisinau around 80 per cent of households encounter problems in paying their energy bills. Around 70–75 per cent of the productive capital in the energy sector is physically outdated, resulting in a high level of energy losses.
Despite the investments in energy-saving technologies, energy consumption is expected to grow, especially on account of economic activities, such as agriculture, transport, construction, and the food industry. SDG 7 sets out a small number of rather focused development priorities in the area of energy. Its main focus is on the sustainable production and use of energy, as well as on equitable access to energy delivered safely and used efficiently. The Republic of Moldova envisages creating a competitive and efficient energy sector that will provide all consumers with quality energy resources, on affordable and reliable terms, will respond to the challenges of energy price increases, dependency on imports of energy resources (to be diminished by renewable energy production), and energy sector impact on climate change. While the strategic vision is set to be accomplished based on the principle of competitiveness and a liberalized energy market, it is important to adequately tackle them.