Environment for RES / Energy Efficiency
SWOT Analysis for RES & Energy Efficiency
  • Mild climate.
  • Population concentrated in cities.
  • Good energy infrastructure and electricity grid.
  • Autonomous regional government and coherent regional energy policies.
  • Existence of several energy companies.
  • High potential for biomass.
  • High production capacity of bio-fuels.
  • One of the highest geothermal potentials globally.
  • Incentives for the further development of RES.
  • Political will for the development of RES.
  • The economy is based mainly on the (heavy) industry, which is a big consumer of energy
  • High dependence on imported fossil fuels (oil and gas)
  • Limited renewable energy potential (solar radiation, wind speed)
  • Limited area for renewable energy installations (small area with high population density)
  • Consumer habits.
  • Non-reliable electric grid.
  • Non-trained technical staff.
  • The extensive use of wood for Biomass has led to increased prices, causing serious problems in society.

  • High energy prices
  • Favorable regulation of renewable energy at national and European level
  • Political will for the achievement of the 2020 target.
  • Energy retrofit of buildings with great dynamic.
  • Specific incentives for energy upgrading of industries.
  • Conversion of several production plants from coal to biomass.
  • Lack of expertise form the workforce.
  • Social contrast for large-scale energy projects
  • Inapplicability of the electricity grid to support uncontrolled power production.
  • Low penetration of RES in the energy mix.
  • Gather solar energy. Non-exploitation of the great potential of RES.
  • Untapped potential of solar energy
  • Unexploited RES potential
Related Programs in EEA Grants 2009-14

Chosen RES / EE Projects

Project fact:

  • Project Title: Training at the Geothermal Training Programme of the United Nations University in Iceland (UNU-GTP).
  • Project objective: Increased Awareness of and Education in Renewable Energy Solutions.
  • Implementing Organization: Ministry of National Development.
  • Initial Project Cost: 190.000 €.
  • Target group(s): Associations and Representatives of Associations involved in Higher Education, including Relevant Student, University, and Teacher / Trainer Associations.

A few words for the philosophy of the project:

At its birth about 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth was a huge heat reservoir.  That heat was gradually lost in space and the surface cooled to form an insulating crust that reduced the rate of heat loss, but did not stop it. Heat is still flowing out at an estimated average rate of 56-67 mW/m2, partly due to initial storage, but also to a significant extent because of replenishment through the decomposition of radioactive isotopes. In some areas, heat loss is significantly greater than the average flux due to to the dynamic forces operating on Earth.  This is particularly evident at tectonic plate boundaries and in the hot spots where the rise of the mantles from the inner earth transfers the heat to the surface.  Areas like these are associated with the active volcanic space, where magma chambers lurk at relatively shallow depths below the surface as particularly powerful sources of heat.  However, in order to harness the thermal energy, a means is needed to transfer heat to the surface where it can be used to generate electricity or for direct use.

Geothermal systems are usually divided into high-temperature and low-temperature systems.  High temperature systems are defined as systems where the temperature at 1 km depth exceeds 200°C and low-temperature systems as those where the temperature is lower than 150°C in the uppermost kilometre.

The most common way of harnessing geothermal energy is the hydrothermal tank with a borehole to transport the liquid to the surface. With current drilling technology water with temperatures of up to 360°C can be retrieved from the upper 2-3 km of the earth´s crust.

High temperature geothermal fluid may be carried as a vapor, or more often as a two phase mixture of water and steam.  A common way of utilization is to separate the two phases and use the steam to move the turbines for electrical generation.  In combined heat and power plants, the waste heat from this process is used for direct heating applications, thus allowing for more efficient use of the energy.  Electricity can also be generated from geothermal fluids of medium temperatures by using the heat to evaporate a working fluid, such as isopentane or an ammonia-water mixture that has different thermal properties than water.  This fluid runs in a closed loop within the power plant and is used to drive a turbine.  Low temperature fluids are commonly used for direct heat applications such as space heating, aquaculture, horticulture, industrial balneology and swimming pools, industry and snow melting.

In many cases, the geothermal waste is recycled back to the tank from which it was extracted to increase the rate of recharging and to avoid any negative impacts of discharge on the surface.

Another great potential in geothermal is Hot Dry Rock or Enhanced Geothermal Systems, where energy is stored in dry non-porous rock.  Exploitation of this energy is more challenging than the more conventional hydrothermal exploitation, but research into such systems is in progress.  If these resources can be harnessed economically, they have the potential to vastly increase the use of geothermal energy globally and to make it accessible to people that at present have to deal with other energy sources that are significantly less friendly to the environment.

The UNU-GTP was created in the shadow of the oil crisis, when nations were looking for new and renewable energy sources in order to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons, particularly oil, at rapidly rising prices. The current situation is somewhat similar in the sense that the international community is looking for renewable energy sources as an alternative for the hydrocarbons in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

The development of geothermal resources requires a group of highly skilled specialists from various disciplines of science and engineering. Because of its diversity, geothermal energy has not been taught as a common subject at universities. The training of geothermal experts was mainly carried out in the work of companies and institutions. International geothermal schools have contributed significantly to the transfer of geothermal technology, especially to the benefit of developing countries.

The first official act on the establishment a UNU geothermal institute in Iceland took place in 1975 when the United Nations University (UNU) was established. Following a first proposal in 1976 and an international workshop in 1978, the Government of Iceland decided in October 1978 to ask Orkustofnun (the National Energy Authority (NEA)), to sign an Agreement on Association with the UNU and to establish the UNU Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP). The UNU-GTP has been hosted by the NEA ever since.

The first annual training session of the UNU-GTP started in May 1979 with two UNU Fellows from the Philippines. Since then, a group of scientists and engineers from energy agencies and research organizations as well as universities in developing countries and Central and Eastern European countries, come to Iceland every spring to spend six months in highly specialized studies of geological exploration, geological drilling, geophysical exploration, geophysical drilling, tank mechanics, chemistry of thermal fluids, environmental science, geothermal utilization, and drilling technology.

The hallmark of the UNU-GTP is to give geothermal university graduates intensive on-the-job training in their chosen areas of expertise. The trainees work side by side with geothermal professionals in Iceland. The aim is to help developing countries with significant geothermal potential to set up expert groups covering most aspects of geothermal exploration and development.

More recently, the UNU-GTP also offers a few successful candidates the opportunity to expand their studies in MSc or PhD degrees in geothermal sciences or engineering in collaboration with the University of Iceland.


In line with the EU common objectives, the national renewable energy target of 14,65% in final energy consumption by 2020 as well as the reduction of GHG emissions by 20% are set out in the Hungarian National Energy Strategy 2030, the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, the National Building Energy Efficiency Strategy and National Renewable Energy Action Plan 2010-2020. The aim of the project is to provide scholarships for 6 Hungarians who will be able to participate in the 6 month postgraduate Geothermal Training Program of the United Nations University in Reykjavík, Iceland in the spring semester between 19 April and 10 October 2016. The Project Partner is the National Energy Authority of Iceland, which takes the final decision on the fellows and is responsible for all activities and arrangements on education. The scholarship covers all the costs of education, as well as travel and accommodation. Beneficiaries are native Hungarians with relevant degrees in science, engineering or economics and if possible, they have professional experience in the field of geothermal energy, they come from relevant institutions, universities or companies, or are in process or have recently completed relevant university studies. The training program provides scientific knowledge and practical know-how related to the generation and execution of geothermal energy projects in their countries of origin. It focuses on three study lines, namely engineering, science, management and financing of geothermal energy. During the last 2 months of the training, the students perform a research project, which completes with a comprehensive report under the close supervision of a geothermal expert and ends with the preparation of a thesis or case study, which will be published in the annual book of the United Nations University under ISBN 9979.

Individual sub-projects:

The Project included:

  • Six (6) scholarships for geotherm energy courses at the United Nations University in Iceland with all the costs covered.
  • The training program provides scientific knowledge and practical know-how on the generation and execution of geothermal energy projects in their countries of origin.


The project achieves quantitatively:

  • Six (6) Hungarians received their diploma in Geothermal Energy.
  • I International Publication.

The Project has already succeeded:

  • Exchange of know – how as Hungarian participants have been trained in geothermal applications in the United Nations University in Iceland and will apply new techniques in their country.
  • Enhance of cooperation as both Icelandic and Norwegian research centers offer their expertise and resources in the field,
  • Scientific publications in geothermal Energy.



Pic. 1: Hungarian Students in the Field Pic. 2: Hungarian Student during Lessons Pic. 3: Hungarian Student during Graduation Pic. 4: Visit in Geothermal Site

Project facts:

  • Project Title: Utilization of Geothermal Heat in the District Heating System of Kiskunhalas Town.
  • Project objective: Increased Renewable Energy Production.
  • Project Promoter: Kiskunhalas - Geothermal Project Limited Liability Company.
  • Initial Project Cost: 4.769.727 .
  • Target group(s): Public and Private Organizations, including Not-for-profit Organizations and NGOs, Responsible for the Organization and Delivery of Education and Training at Local, Regional and National Levels.

A few words for the philosophy of the project:

For the most part, Central Europe has only low-enthalpy geothermal resources. Hungary, however, due to its unique geological position astride the Pannonian Basin, a “geothermal hot spot,” is the exception to the rule. While all of the country’s geothermal resources have so far been low- and medium-enthalpy, some high-enthalpy resources have been discovered. As yet, they remain undeveloped. Hungary’s geothermal gradient (increase in unit temperature increase in depth) is higher than the global average, and reach up to 58.9ºC in some places. In places where there are so high gradients, so-called abnormal or geopressured reservoir conditions are accompanied by high-temperature steam/water phase brines.

The water fee to use geothermal water has increased significantly, becoming a significant operating cost. Proliferation of water and energy saving operations will be one of the most important challenges of the near future in Hungary. Interest-free subsidies, low interest long-term credits, or subsidies for experimental and R&D projects are needed. Although there are no comprehensive estimates of total economically exploitable geothermal resources in Hungary, it is tentatively estimated that about 10-12% of urban heating needs of Hungary could be economically be covered with geothermal energy.

More recently, the use of geothermal energy has decreased substantially due to the global recession; however, promising projects are being investigated for both power production and direct-uses. Balneology was the earliest use of thermal waters, with 289 thermal wells and 120 natural springs currently used for sports and therapeutically purposes. Agricultural use is one of the major applications of geothermal waters in the country with 193 operating wells supplying heat for 67 ha of greenhouses. Animal farms use thermal water in more than 52 cases to raise chickens, turkeys, calves, pigs and snails. At present more than 40 townships with more than 9,000 flats are heated in district heating projects.Thermal waters are also used in secondary oil production with 5,400 m3/s of hot water being injected into oil reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery.

Geothermal heat pumps have had the largest growth in the country, with more than 4.000 units installed.

The various uses are:

  • 23,7 MWt and 232 TJ/yr for individual space heating;
  • 94,9 MWt and 930 TJ/yr for district heating;
  • 196 MWt and 2.388 TJ/yr for greenhouse heating;
  • 4 MWt and 44 TJ/yr for fish farming;
  • 2 MWt and 17 TJ/yr for animal farming;
  • 10 MWt and 123 TJ/yr for agricultural drying;
  • 12 MWt and 159 TJ/yr for industrial process heating;
  • 272 MWt and 5.356 TJ/yr for bathing and swimming;
  • 40 MWt and 518 TJ/yr for geothermal heat pumps.

The total for the country is 654,6 MWt and 9.767 TJ/yr.


As a result of this project, a geothermal production well will be created. This project includes all relevant tasks (preparation, drilling) related to this well. The project is implemented in close cooperation with the Iceland GeoSurvey, a Donor Partner from Iceland.

The district heating system of Kiskunhalas is now based on gas fired steam boilers and gas engines providing heat for about 1.248 flats and one public building. The district heating system can be extended with the individually heated public buildings.

In particular, the general objective of the project is to implement a geothermal district heating system – to replace the existing fossil-fueled district heating – in the town of Kiskunhalas. The building interventions in the project include:

  • 248 flats in Kiskunhalas.
  • One public building in Kiskunhalas.
  • Scholarship programmes in the United Nations University in Iceland for the promotion and awareness of geothermal energy in Hungary.

Additionally, within the framework of action implementation, measuring instruments were installed to monitor the results of the interventions.

Special services were offered and specifically services related to dissemination, networking and publicity. They include organization of training seminars and excursions, creation of Action’s logo, production of printed informative material, participation in workshops, construction of web site, press conferences, press releases and quotes in social networks.

Finally, there was exchange of know-how with the organization from the Donor States that is activated in issues related to RES technology and promotion and the integration of RES into investment priorities and local and regional strategies for energy saving.


In line with the common EU objectives, the national renewable energy target of 14,65% in the final energy consumption by 2020 is defined in the Hungarian National Energy Strategy 2030, and in the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan. This target is underlined by the project, which also helps households to reduce their energy costs and reduce GHG emissions, which is beneficial to measures against climate change. According to the calculations, the geothermal district heating system will be very likely to cover 99 % of the heat demand of the expected consumers.

Individual sub-projects:

The first phase of this project was implemented, which includes the design, preparation and drilling of the production well, the purchase and installation of the submersible well pump and the execution of well tests to prove the tank parameters. The flow temperature is expected to be 115 °C; the maximum flow rate of the geothermal fluid is expected to be 40l/s. The second phase of the project – drilling or purchasing the reinjection well and the construction of the system above the surface – was funded by the project promoter. The system is in a position to start operating after the completion of second phase.


The project achieves quantitatively:

  • Reduction of CΟ2 emissions by ~75%!
  • Saving of Primary Energy by 60%!

In detail, the indicators/targets of the project that were achieved are:




1.Total RES consumption



1.1 Consumption of renewable electrical energy



1.2 Consumption of renewable heating energy (buildings)



1.3 Consumption of reneable heating energy (building Complex)



2. Reduction or avoidance of CO2 emissions



3. Events within the framework of bilateral relations



Additionally, the project has already achieved:

  • Contribution to achieving Hungary’s renewable energy targets, which are part of Hungary’s national energy strategy as well as the country’s commitments towards the EU.
  • Exchange know-how with the Icelandic specialist and participate in the events that took place with executives with extensive experience in the development of geothermal energy applications.
  • Enhance of cooperation, as both Icelandic and Norwegian research centers offer their expertise and resources in the field.
  • Through various exchange and scholarship programmes to raise awareness there will be opportunities to participate in shorter or longer study programmes in both Norway and Iceland, notably the United Nations University – Geothermal Training Programme in Iceland.

Ha minden jól megy, átállhat a városi távhő a geotermikus fűtésrendszerre
Kiskunhalas is geotermális fűtéssel váltja le a földgázt
Megkezdődtek a geotermális kútfúrás előkészítő munkálatai Kiskunhalason
Geotermikus fűtési rendszer épül Kiskunhalason
Kiskunhalas: Földhő-erőművet építenének

Pic. 1: Drilling Process Pic. 2: Geothermal System in Public Building in Kiskunhalas Pic. 3: Event for Presentation of Project Pic. 4: Installation of Pipeline Pic. 5: Drilling in the Project Pic. 6: Project Finalization