Currently available funding
There are currently no calls for proposal.
Why was the programme needed? Maximising the use of renewable energy to the highest possible extent is one of the key tools for achieving sustainable, safe and competitive energy supply in the long term. Hungary has set an ambitious target of 14,65% for its share of renewable energy use by 2020. While increased use of biomass for heat and power production has been the main driver of growth in renewables in Hungary, there is also a high potential for geothermal energy. Geothermal water is primarily used in baths and for drinking water in our country; but neither direct heat utilization of buildings, baths or greenhouses nor power generation are sufficiently exploited yet. The Hungarian Renewable Energy programme was originally focused on the production and usage of geothermal energy. However, over the course of the programme implementation period the scope was narrowed down to counteract challenges such as limited implementation time and organisational changes with the Programme Operator (PO). The programme received a grant of over 7 000 000 euro from the EEA Grants and was implemented by the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and technology (PO). What did the programme achieve? The programme implemented three different projects targeted at training of scientific experts and public administration officials in topics such as geothermal energy exploration, investment processes and applied technologies. The projects were implemented in cooperation with the United Nations University in Iceland. One of the projects also organised study trips for professors and students of Hungary’s Szent István University, who were able to obtain insight into the corporate practice and scientific knowledge of renewable energy utilization based on circular economy principles. Moreover, the programme implemented a project that explored the possibilities for utilising geothermal energy in the district heating system of Kiskunhalas town in Southern Hungary. The project promoter, Kiskunhalas Geothermal Project Limited Liability Company, completed a geological exploratory drilling to test whether the district heating systems of the town could be transformed to geothermal energy source based-system, instead of natural gas. The well extends to 2.500 meter depth at the moment, but unfortunately no geothermal fluid has been found at this point.How were bilateral relations strengthened? The successful implementation of the programme area was supported by the Donor Programme partner (DPP) Icelandic Energy Authority (Orkustofnun - OS). Multiple bilateral activities were organized to strengthen Icelandic-Hungarian bilateral relations at the ministerial, governmental and academic level, by promoting mutually fruitful cooperation, joint results, exchanging know-how, best practice and experience as well as improving knowledge and mutual understanding between organizations of the donor and beneficiary states. The activities included a geothermal workshop in Iceland for local governments involved in geothermal energy-related activities. The workshop provided a forum for 27 decision makers, engineers and managers to exchange knowledge and best practices on the exploration, development and use of geothermal resources. The knowledge gained can be used during the sustainable operation and the use of the already existing geothermal-based district heating systems. These can be considered during planning of further investments of the local governments and provide opportunities for future joint improvements and achievements in the field. What will be the impact of the programme? The geothermal energy investment project that resulted in an exploratory drilling, providing a future basis for geothermal-based district heating system, contributes directly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. If the system becomes successful in the future, end users of renewable based district heating will benefit from an energy efficient, clean and sustainable solution and lower energy costs. The three projects in the field of renewable energy education support indirectly the achievement of the same objective in the long term. Up-to-date knowledge, practical training and on-the-field experience are crucial for the Hungarian professionals to be able to work for geothermal energy utilization and ensure the sustainability and long term effects of the projects.