Hungary: Accelerating usage of geothermal energy

, SEE Energy News

Hungary sits on a huge potential for geothermal energy that is so far very much untapped. Although there are many geothermal heating plants in Hungary and one power plant, the wider application of geothermal energy for heating and electricity production is still underrepresented.

Geothermal energy could also effectively support the country’s goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Therefore, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology has announced a call to support projects focusing on the utilization of geothermal energy.

State Secretary for the Development of Circular Economy, Energy and Climate Policy Attila Steiner said that Hungary has unique geological features, which can be a competitive alternative to fossil energy sources. The goal is to create an energy sector that combines a high level of security of supply and climate-friendly generation by 2030.

Hungary aims to raise the share of renewable energy resources within final energy consumption to 20 % by 2030. The two key pillars of the Government’s decarbonization strategy rely on the expansion of domestic nuclear and renewable energy (mostly solar) capacities. However, even if there is a large-scale, ambitious expansion in nuclear capacities and the ratio of renewable energy production is to be deliberately increased, 40 % of electricity generation will still rely on natural gas, which is mostly imported from Russia. According to estimates, geothermal energy could help further reduce dependence on fossil fuels, especially on natural gas. Geothermal energy could support Hungary and other countries in the region to decrease their dependency on fossil fuels. The Pannonian Basin has outstanding geothermal potential and the countries in the region have centralized district heating systems, which means that the infrastructure is already in place.