Paris €28.57 (+0.18%)

Pécs, the Hungarian city that uses straw and wood for its heating network


In November 2013, when Europe’s largest cogeneration-based district heating network came on stream, the 170,000 residents of Pécs, Hungary’s fifth-largest city, could rejoice in a heating system fired entirely by wood and straw. This led to the creation of more than 170 regional jobs in the straw supply chain and a further 100 for the wood.

From an environmental standpoint, using straw and wood left over from forestry and processing has replaced coal in the municipal energy mix, avoiding the emission of up to 400,000 metric tons of CO2 annually.

Operated by Veolia, the plant has an electricity-generating capacity of 35 MW and, in conjunction with a wood-fired plant opened in 2004, it means that Pécs is energy independent.