Regional Energy Reports highlights_Southern Great Plain
Southern Great Plain (Hungary)
A region towards greater energy independence and decentralized energy planning
Southern Great Plain is one of the seven planning and statistical nuts-2 level regions in Hungary aggregating three counties, a total of 254 local municipalities. The region represents almost one fifth of the total area of the country, and 12.4% of its total population. The region’s contribution to the national GDP totalled to 9.1% in 2017.
The Southern Great Plain Region is characterized mainly by agricultural and rural landscapes with a few larger cities. The Region plays a gateway role to the Balkans characterized by extensive international transit traffic and power and high-pressure gas transmission. Currently, the annual final energy consumption of the region is approximately 22.000 GWh, of which a significant amount is provided from fossil energy sources. Residential (42%), transport (20%) and industrial (19%) sectors are the three major energy consumers.
Electricity in Southern Great Plain Region is mostly imported. In 2016, only 3% of the total demand was covered by own sources. Nuclear energy plays a dominant role in the domestic energy mix, but the nuclear power generation by Paks Nuclear Plant with a total capacity of 2,000 MW, falls outside the territory of the region. The share of fossil fuels in the electricity fuel mix was 38.7%, whilst the renewable share was 10.2% in total in 2016. The renewable-based power generation is dominated by the solid biofuel, but the share of wind energy and biogas are also notable.
The CO2 emission associated with the regional energy consumption is 3.6 tons/year per capita of which the highest contribution with 1.2 tons/year per capita is comes from the residential sector. The Region is in a strong need of increased self-supply coupled with effective energy saving. With the help of the key findings of the Assessment of the baseline Energy Status of the region, PROSPECT2030 aims to provide appropriate solutions to achieve the decarbonization targets in Southern Great Plain for 2030.
The residential sector in the Region represents an enormous energy saving and carbon reduction potential. Two-thirds of residential building stock is energetically outdated. Almost 25% of the family houses were constructed before 1945. The share of houses built between 1946 and 1980 is close to 50%. Consequently, almost 75% of all family houses were built before 1980, in accordance with the energy performance design requirements in force at the time. The complex energy refurbishment of the building stock offers at least 40-50% global reduction in the energy use. Whilst notable progress can be recorded in the energy renovation of multi-family buildings, the single-family house segment is largely untapped.
The Southern Great Plain has favorable conditions for certain types of renewable energy production. There is perceivable progress in biomass-based and photovoltaic power generation.
The Region, as other parts of Hungary, has significant geothermal resources, which are not yet exploited at appropriate level. Although the average temperature of the geothermal water is not high enough for electricity generation at large, its future role in district heat and in other forms utilization such as replacing fossil fuel in heating greenhouses is highly promising. Promotion of e-mobility in urban areas is also a declared priority of the Region, which is however in an embryonic state at the moment.
The baseline energy assessment of the Southern Great Plain also calls for a decentralized energy planning both in terms of the institutional development and capacity building. A stated objective of PROSPECT2030 is in fact to develop policy recommendations involving regional public authorities and stakeholders.