The possibilities of heat production based on renewable energy sources in Hungary

Csanaky Lilla, Varga Katalin

The ENERGIAKLUB has published its much needed study investigating the possibilities of renewable-based heat production, also known as “the neglected giant”. The detailed analysis titled “The possibilities of heat production based on renewable energy sources in Hungary” presents the Hungarian and international situation from applicable technologies through the legislative background through subsidy policies, including numerous good examples.

Almost half of the gross end use of energy in the member states of the European Union is used for heating and cooling. The heat produced comes primarily from fossil energy sources, which contributes greatly to the emission of greenhouse gases of anthropogenic origin. Renewables provide ten percent of heat production in Hungary currently, although this figure could be much higher based on the country’s natural attributes. The ENERGIAKLUB organized round-table discussions in 2008 and 2009 with renewable energy experts. One of the main topics of these was the fact that renewable-based heat production does not receive sufficient attention in terms of raising awareness as well as related subsidy sources. In our knowledge no similar study has been conducted in Hungary that focuses especially on renewable heat production, which examines the opportunities, subsidy policy and legal background with a complex approach.

The aim of our publication is to provide assistance in realizing projects that are the most favourable for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the field of heating and cooling, and in facilitating the most efficient use of renewable subsidy funds. The analysis evaluates the current situation of renewable-based heat production, provides an overview of available technologies, and presents investments that may serve as best practice examples. Our goal is to show the opportunities of local heat production in lieu of centralized systems, and their environmental, economic and social benefits.

One of the key elements of our analysis was the examination of policy measures and options aimed at the promotion of renewable energy source utilization, with special regard to the special features of heat production. In this study we present successful foreign examples for incentivizing renewable-based heat production, and we give suggestions on creating the legislative and subsidy policy background in Hungary. The analysis can serve as background material and assist in the preparation of decisions for the government sector, for local governments or even for potential investors.