ALTENER – Geothermal Power Project

This project is supported by ALTENER PROGRAM of EU Commission. The project purpose is to develop an integrated feasibility study on installing small-scale geothermal power plants in Hungary combined by heating and balneological use through cascading system, providing a model for extended application throughout the Accession Countries and the EU-15. The wider objectives are: contribution to sustainable development, contribution to GHG targets and compliance with Directive 2001/77 /EC on RES. For CEE countries there may be a strong interest in the utilisation of existing geothermal potential for energy production leading towards sustainability and more independent (self-sustained) energy market. End-users from EU Member States would likely be interested in the investment possibilities in the CEE “geothermal market”. The project’s duration is 18 month, and the project started on 1st of September 2003.

The partners in the project are: Geonardo Ltd., Hungary (Coordinator), Loránd Eötvös University, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Deparment of Geophysics, Hungary, Innoterm–Energetics, Environment Protection & Development Ltd., Hungary, BLUEWATERS Project Development and Environmental Engineering, Austria, Enex Ltd., Iceland, Aquaplus Ltd., Hungary, ISQ- Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade, Portugal

The main task of BLUEWATERS is to make an investigation on the environmental impacts of cascaded energy use. Furthermore BLUEWATERS delivers inputs concerning the topics “policy and ownership barriers and technical and economic feasibility”.

The results will provide a direct predecessor of geothermal renewable energy investments in Hungary and throughout Europe (EU-15 [28]), where applicable. The idea of small-scale geothermal power plants can be a new opportunity for these markets and worldwide, as well. This is a strong tool for achieving local sustainability and decentralisation and also can be applied at remote territories. It will create new investment opportunities for EU businesses, which are presently losing their good position on the worldwide geothermal markets against the US and Japanese competitors. The developments create new opportunities also for other sectors, such as balneology, eco-tourism, which are environmentally friendly, service-intensive ways of creating profit and have an especially positive aspect, when applied in countries, where polluting and inefficient, energy-intensive heavy industry must be maintained for social (employment) reasons.

Social Progress, economic growth and an increase in the standard of living must be achieved without endangering the quality of life for future generations. This development pattern is what we call Sustainable Development.