Hungary - Direct Uses




individual space heating



District heating



Greenhouse heating



fish farming



Animal farming



Agricultural drying



 geothermal heat pumps



Industrial process heat



Bathing and swimming





Total thermal installed capacity in MWt


Direct use in TJ/year


Direct use in GWh/year


Capacity factor



Country Update: Balneology is the earliest use of geothermal waters in the country. Hungary has world-famous spas in Budapest, Bük, Hajdúszoboszló, Harkány Héviz, Sárvár and Zalakaros. A total of 295 thermal wells and 132 natural springs produce water for sport and therapeutic purposes. In Hungary there are more than 70 ha of greenhouses and more than 250 ha of soil-heating plastic tents which use thermal waters. There are more than 50 examples of chicken, turkey, calf, pig and snail farms which use thermal water heating for their animal husbandry. In addition, there are 10 fish ponds near Szarvas and Györ which use low-temperature geothermal water to heat their ponds. Geothermal district heating began near balneology centers. These early examples include the Budapest Zoo and some apartment houses. In the late 1950s district heating projects were started in southeast Hungary. 23 locations use thermal waters for space and district heating. Hungary’s largest operation geothermal-based district heating systems, fed 100% by geothermal, started daily operation in January 1, 2011 in Szentlörinc (SW-Hungary). It features an 1,800 m-deep well, with an outflow temperature of 87oC and maximum yield of 25 l/s, coupled with a reinjection well. The heat capacity is 3 MWt, and the demand is 22,000 to 60,000 GJ. Of special interest are the two “super wells” in Miskolc-Mályi, a PannErgy Plc project. This project is the first “large-scale” project in Hungary, where geothermal-based district –heating system will feed several hundred apartments in the Avas housing estate in Miskolc, Hungary second largest city. The heat capacity is 55 MWt and the heat demand is 695,000 to 1,100,000 GJ. Geothermal water has also been used in secondary oil production since 1969. A total of 88 wells are used to produce thermal and drinking water, since the shallow aquifers are contaminated. Shallow geothermal using heat pumps has increased considerably from 2000 to 2010, but has stopped since due to the economic crises. The estimated number of installed units is morethan 4,000. The typical size range for residential use is 10 to 14 kW.

Taken from: John W. Lund and Tonya L. Boyd
Published in Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2015 Worldwide Review

Total thermal installed capacity in MWt:654.6
Direct use in TJ/year9,767
Direct use in GWh/year2,713.3
Capacity factor0.47

Surface manifestations have been known in the country since ancient times, and thermal springs in Budapest have been used during the Roman Empire and also later in the Medieval Hungarian Kingdom. Exploration for thermal waters began in 1877 and during the 1950s and 1960s hundreds of geothermal wells were drilled, mainly for agricultural utilization.

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 presently used for sport and therapeutically purposes. Agricultural use is one of the important 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. In addition, gathering pipes in a heavy oil producing oilfield are heated with geothermal waters.

Geothermal heat pumps have had the largest growth in the country since 2005, 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. 

Taken from the paper by John W. Lund, Derek H. Freeston, and Tonya L. Boyd: "Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2010 Worldwide Review"; published in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010