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Hungary is ready to double geothermal energy use by 2030

Hungary aims to double its domestic geothermal energy utilisation by 2030, outlined in the National Geothermal Strategy, with measures to strengthen energy sovereignty, increase emission-free energy production, and keep energy prices affordable. The strategy includes government support of approximately 165 billion Hungarian forints (418 million euros) to create a predictable financing environment and reduce financial risks.

Hungary has been among the top five countries in Europe for the use of geothermal energy for many years. However, based on the available potential, the utilisation of locally available resources can be further intensified, according to the Ministry of Energy of Hungary.

The measures outlined in the National Geothermal Strategy, which is open for public consultation, could make geothermal energy a leading sector in Hungary’s green economy. Hungary has favorable conditions for the versatile utilisation of geothermal energy.

The objective of Hungary’s National Geothermal Strategy is to increase the current 6.4 petajoules of domestic energy consumption to one-fifth by 2026 (to 8 PJ) and double this figure to 12-13 PJ by the beginning of the next decade. Over the strategy’s timeframe, the share of geothermal energy in total heat production could increase from 6.5 per cent to 25-30 per cent. The goal is to replace 1-1.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas by 2035, significantly reducing Hungary’s import dependency.

To achieve initial results quickly, the state plans to play a greater role in supporting geothermal energy research and utilisation. They will channel approximately 165 billion Hungarian forints (418 million euros) in support to create a predictable financing environment. A call for proposals, with a total budget of 34 billion Hungarian forints (86 million euros), will be launched to reduce geological and financial risks by partially assuming them. The Geothermal Investment Credit Scheme could facilitate the implementation of drilling, heat centers, and pipeline systems, while at least 20 billion Hungarian forints (50 million euros) would support public institutions the develop district heating system expansion. Additionally, a geothermal heat pump installation program could also facilitate the broader utilisation of geothermal energy.

Since 2010, geothermal heat energy use has increased more than fourfold, but there is still plenty of room for improvement, adds the ministry noting that the past years have seen industry revival supported by initiatives like a flexible permitting system and the Hungarian Geothermal Cluster, alongside funding opportunities such as reduced financial risks for drilling activities and calls for proposals to modernise existing thermal wells.

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