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Hungary further loosens rules to speed up geothermal development

The Hungarian government established the Geothermal Energy Committee and eased some permitting rules to remove remaining bottlenecks.

The Hungarian government amended the mining law to reduce the regulatory requirements that must be met by geothermal energy project developers in the country. The government decree also established a new body, the Geothermal Energy Committee, which is a professional advisory board made up of representatives of various ministries.

Under the new law, the Geothermal Energy Committee must be consulted during the evaluation process of permits to explore geothermal energy. The committee provides professional opinions and advice on geothermal energy investments. It consists of the representatives of the Ministry of energy, water management, environmental protection, mining affairs, agricultural policy, economic development and urban and rural development.

The announcement comes after the Hungarian government already amended the legislation related to the research, extraction and utilisation of geothermal energy at the beginning of March.

In February the Hungarian Geothermal Cluster was set up, which announced a five-point strategy to encourage geothermal investments in the country, including supportive state regulation, and the establishment of a more simple legal framework and predictable investor environment.

Last December, the Hungarian Parliament adopted the amendment to the Mining Act to unlock the country’s vast geothermal potential. The Ministry of Energy said that, according to the government’s estimates, geothermal energy can substitute up to 1-1.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas by 2030 in Hungary.

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