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  • 1 University of Pécs Department of Public Utilities, Geodetic Survey and Environemental Protection Pollack Mihály Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Boszorkány u. 2 H-7624 Pécs Hungary
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Geothermal energy is the most economical of the green energy resources such as solar or wind. It is a ‘base-load’ type of power, which is constantly available, not just when the sun shines or the wind blows. In Hungary, geothermal energy has proven to be an economical source of energy for direct use. A significant amount of geothermal energy is located throughout Hungary and thermal water (> 30 °C) can be found over 70% of the area of the country. This is supplied mainly from two principal aquifer systems of regional extent. One of them is the clastic Upper Pannonian Quaternary fill of the Pannonian basin, and the other one is the fractured and/or karstified Mesozoic basement. The geothermal situation in Hungary offers two directions for the utilization of geothermal energy. Using the heat from shallow geological sections for heating and cooling buildings; and using thermal sources of low enthalpy thermal waters in several ways (heating and sanitary waters in buildings, greenhouses and aquaculture installations). The potential of geothermal resources and their immediate development should focus on cascade and integrated utilization of geothermal energy. Cascade schemes should be used to fulfil the thermal energy demand for the selected area in order to get the maximum benefit from geothermal energy with the minimum energy demand from heat pumps. The integrated scheme has environmental benefits by using renewable energies (geothermal energy and solar energy), new technologies (heat pumps) and energy savings (cascade scheme). In the long-run, the economic benefits of geothermal power may even exceed those of the fossil fuels. It would likely prove to be a sustainable low-cost source of power. Exploitation of geothermal energy will have a direct impact on the development of the regions, by increasing per capita income and at the same time raising the inhabitants’ standard of living.

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