Renewables

Romania is exploring geothermal waters at 24 locations

Romania is exploring geothermal waters at 24 locations

Photo: iStock

Published

January 27, 2023

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Published:

January 27, 2023

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Romania is third or fourth in Europe in geothermal energy potential. Exploration is currently being conducted at 24 sites.

Drilling and development of geothermal heating projects are expensive, but they can enable the supply of cheap renewable energy. Such systems can be used for heating homes and greenhouses, in industrial production, for spa facilities and the production of electricity. Currently there are exploration projects underway at 24 locations throughout Romania, Pro TV reported.

The sites are in the counties of Arad, Bihor, Harghita, Ilfov, Satu Mare, Timiș and Vâlcea. Selected operators are entitled to 49-year concession contracts for exploitation.

There is a long way before establishing accurate data. However, the country is scattered with underground sources of geothermal waters. Anca Isac, who heads the science department at the Geological Institute of Romania, estimated that in geothermal energy potential Romania is third or fourth in Europe. Italy, Greece and Iceland are at the top of the list.

Geothermal Romania
Photo: Red areas have confirmed geothermal potential and exploration is yet to be conducted in zones marked yellow (Pro TV)

Village in Banat obtained EUR 5 million for geothermal heating project

Exploration for hydrocarbons has already uncovered over 200 wells with temperatures of up to 120 degrees Celsius. The optimal level for heating homes is 90 degrees while at 45 degrees the water can be used for thermal baths, the report adds.

Public funds have been invested in projects for heating public buildings at ten locations in Timiș county alone.

Adiran Iurkiewicz from the Romanian Association of Hydrogeologists said drilling a 3,000-meter deep well costs as much as EUR 6 million.

A geothermal heating system from a source of a depth of over 3,000 meters has been installed in Călimănești in Vâlcea county

The commune of Șandra in Timiș, in the far west, has obtained EUR 5 million for two boreholes and a distribution system for the school, kindergarten, town hall and churches. The area, located in Banat has under 3,000 inhabitants. Just across the border in Hungary, geothermal waters are being used intensively, Mayor Luchian Savu pointed out

The local authority in the town Pecica in Arad country has invested in geothermal energy. A source with 47 degrees Celsius was found 730 meters below ground, which is suitable for heating 13 public buildings. A geothermal heating system from a source of a depth of over 3,000 meters has already been installed in Călimănești in Vâlcea county.

Turkey has most developed geothermal energy market in Southeastern Europe

In the rest of the region that Balkan Green Energy News covers, Turkey has the most developed geothermal energy systems. It is reportedly first in the greenhouses segment in the world and third in geothermal power capacity.

In Slovenia, state-owned hydropower plant operator Dravske elektrarne Maribor started the construction of the first pilot geothermal power plant with its partners last month. The source is an abandoned hydrocarbon exploration well.

Croatia hosts one operating geothermal power plant and a string of various projects are underway, backed by the government’s support mechanism. The country also mostly relies on abandoned gas and oil exploration wells. Serbia only has small projects for now.

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