More than 100 participants from 6 countries attended the DARLINGe (Danube Region Leading Geothermal Energy) project’s launch event, held in Budapest at the Geological and Geophysical Institute of Hungary on the 10th of April. The project successfully addressed the 1st call of the Danube Transnational Programme and received EU funding amounting to 2.147.000 euros.
The main objective of DARLINGe is to improve energy security and efficiency in the Danube Region by promoting the sustainable utilization of existing, still largely untapped deep geothermal resources in the heating sector.
The project was initiated by the sustainable energy priority area of the Danube Region Strategy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary – responsible for the coordination of the Strategy – is one of the 15 project partners and represents one of the 6 different countries involved in DARLINGe. The objective of the project is absolutely in line with the aims of the priority area, which is to contribute to energy security and energy efficiency by increasing the use of sustainable energy in the energy mix, thereby making the Danube Region less dependent on imported fossil fuels while simultaneously respecting the environment.
Heating – mostly supplied by gas imported from Russia – is responsible for up to 40 % of primary energy consumption and for a significant part of greenhouse gas emissions in the Danube Region. The fossil-fuel based district heating system has a long tradition in this area; individual households, industrial users and the agriculture sector are also major heat consumers. Moreover many of these systems operate at low efficiency and require refurbishment. The process of decarbonizing and enhancing the energy efficiency of the heating sector is therefore of utmost importance, as it would not only increase the security of energy supply, but also contribute to the integrated energy and climate policy goals of the EU.
Among renewables to be endorsed in the heating sector, due to the favorable geological conditions, geothermal energy represents a commonly shared and largely unexploited resource for the region. At present, the most common way of utilizing the rich thermal groundwater stored in this hot sedimentary basin is balneology with subordinate direct-heat applications. Our goal is to enhance the energy efficiency of the heating sector by promoting the sustainable use of thermal water.
More information: http://www.interreg-danube.eu/darlinge