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Debrecen has reduced its carbon emissions by more than 50 percent

Thanks to investments in recent years, Kaposvár and Debrecen have cut their carbon emissions by more than 50 percent compared to 1990.

Former President of Hungary János Áder spoke to Mayor of Kaposvár Károly Szita and Mayor of Debrecen László Papp.

János Áder recalled that those who join the Under2 (below 2 degrees Celsius) movement pledge to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990. Today, the movement has 270 members, representing around two billion people. Hungary’s county cities joined the movement in 2018.

Mayor of Debrecen László Papp said that the Debrecen wastewater treatment plant is also fully self-sufficient in energy and operates with biogas. The Auquaticum Debrecen baths use thermal water energy to heat the hotel and the indoor adventure pool. The energy crisis is forcing local authorities to find unique solutions; for example, in Debrecen, the waste heat from the supercomputer that has just been installed will be used to heat the swimming pool of the neighboring campus, he added. 

The investment is worth HUF 70 million and will pay for itself in a season and a half, László Papp pointed out. 

Mayor of Kaposvár Károly Szita said that energy is produced from the byproduct of sugar production, beet pulp in Kaposvár. The sugar industry has a high energy demand, which used to be covered by natural gas; however nowadays 35 million cubic meters of biogas can be produced from beet pulp yearly. This covers the energy needs of the sugar factory, heats the city’s swimming pool, and runs 40 buses. The government has given the sugar factory a four billion forint subsidy to make the necessary investments.

In the discussion, it was mentioned that a solar farm with a capacity of 100 megawatts had been built in Kaposvár and 24 megawatts in Debrecen. The solar park in Kaposvár covers the annual electricity needs of 55,000 people. The solar park in Debrecen was built on an area of more than 50 hectares of land outside the airport. He stressed that Debrecen also has tram and trolleybus services, which have become much more expensive. Public transport in the expanding city must primarily be provided by electric vehicles. However, this can only be sustained if the transport operator plays a major role in energy production.

László Papp said that combining solar energy with battery storage could be the key to sustainable transport in the future. Károly Szita added that an 8 billion HUF investment is being prepared in Kaposvár to replace gas buses with electric ones, which will require the construction of storage facilities next to the solar park.

In response to János Áder’s question about the reduction of emissions in cities, Károly Szita said that in Kaposvár, it was 56 percent. László Papp pointed out that Debrecen is undergoing a robust economic development process, but apart from the industry, the city’s emission reduction is above 50 percent. 

The discussion also touched on the fact that both cities do a lot to promote afforestation.

Károly Szita thanked János Áder for supporting these programs as President of Hungary. He said that six thousand new trees were planted in Kaposvár. László Papp stressed that Debrecen is the third largest city in terms of administrative area, 34% of which is covered by forests. He spoke of the tree planting program  “10,000 Trees for Debrecen”, in which 7-8,000 small trees had already been planted, mainly with the involvement of local NGOs.

JD Team
JD Team
Co-Founder of Debrecen Today and Johnson Digital. Blogger on the topics of Debrecen, CRO and Ecommerce. Digital Marketing Professional living and working in Debrecen.

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