According to a study carried out in April 2023 by the Debrecen Heat Supply Ltd. and DIF Ltd. there is a possibility to use geothermal energy locally, in the Northwest Economic Zone of Debrecen. This was the subject of a press conference held by Mayor László Papp and Ferenc Kun, Managing Director of DIF Ltd. on the 21st of  February 2024.

Mayor László Papp stressed that Debrecen is clearly committed to sustainable, green and environmentally conscious industrial development. He said that it is a huge step forward to be able to embark on a venture that can significantly reduce carbon emissions from our industrial sites.

In order to increase energy sovereignty, the Regulated Activities Supervisory Authority coordinates the utilisation of geothermal energy, and in spring 2023 launched the National Geothermal Research Programme, which aims to exploit the geothermal potential of Hungary as widely as possible, which is significant by international standards. The programme supports access to sustainable and cheap energy for people living in the region.

On the 5th of  January 2024, DIF Ltd. was granted a licence to explore for geothermal energy in the Northwestern Economic Zone, covering an area of approximately 49.1 km².

The study, completed in 2023, examined two geological layers: the Upper Pannonian (~800-1100 m depth) and the Miocene (~1450-1800 m depth). The former could provide thermal water at 68-75 °C with a yield of 15-25 l/s, while in the latter layer the presence of a warmer, deep reservoir with a yield of 20-40 l/s at 90-111 °C is expected. The study shows that both reservoir rocks can be used for heating and cooling. For electricity production, a higher temperature would be economically viable, but detailed information on this will only be available after geophysical measurements.

Given that the economic zone is located at a relatively large distance from the city, it is recommended to use the recoverable thermal energy locally in the most efficient way, taking into account professional and economic considerations, in order to avoid heat loss. The total volume of geothermal thermal water extracted should be returned to the same reservoir in order to ensure the sustainable operation of the system and to avoid surface pollution. The recirculation and the heat exchange technology to be used will ensure that no water is withdrawn from the reservoir layer, so that the project can be implemented without harming the environment.

In the event that it is realised that the heat generated can also be used to generate electricity, it can of course be transported and used anywhere in the city. Accordingly, DIF Ltd. has initiated negotiations with companies in the Northwest Economic Zone as potential end-users. These negotiations are currently ongoing.

Benefits of using geothermal energy:

Minimise CO2 emissions: using geothermal energy offers a proven way to significantly reduce carbon emissions, in line with global sustainability goals.

Long-term solution: geothermal energy provides a reliable and consistent supply of electricity, unaffected by external factors such as weather, fuel and fluctuations in energy prices (electricity, natural gas). By harnessing this renewable resource, companies can rely on stable energy sources for years, ensuring smooth operations and predictability.

Locally produced energy: the use of geothermal energy allows companies to use energy produced directly in Debrecen. By using this locally produced energy, they contribute to the development of the regional economy and the local community.

Energy independence: geothermal energy reduces companies’ exposure to energy supply. By reducing dependence on external suppliers, risks associated with geopolitical uncertainties and potential grid disruptions are mitigated.

Increased security of supply: geothermal energy provides security. By diversifying their energy portfolios and incorporating geothermal energy, companies can protect themselves from potential energy outages or other unforeseen circumstances.

Driving innovation: by using geothermal energy, companies can put themselves at the forefront of technological developments, demonstrating their commitment to driving green innovation.

In order to restore the original environmental and nature conservation status of the research activities, the Regulated Activities Supervisory Authority makes the commencement of the research activities subject to the provision of a security. The amount of the security agreed for DIF Ltd. is HUF 340,000,000, which the company intends to provide in the form of a bank guarantee, with a view to financial stability.

The city leader reminded, it was recently announced that green corridors will be created around the industrial parks.  “We are committed not only in words to implementing economic development in Debrecen that meets all the criteria of sustainability and environmental protection, but also in deeds. Our important goal is to be able to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the city, which is also significantly related to everyday life,” he underlined.

Ferenc Kun, Managing Director of DIF Ltd. said that negotiations have been initiated  and are ongoing  with the companies that are entering the Northwest Economic Zone as potential end-users.

Source: debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U