Green energy for the hospital of Szeged

Think globally, act locally: The City of Szeged is dealing with global warming by taking a fresh look at the energy system for its public hospital.

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View of the hospital. View of the hospital.


Not far from the Serbian and Romanian borders, 172 km South of Budapest, Szeged is a tourist destination and university city with approximately 165 000 inhabitants. The municipality has decided to rethink the entire energy system for its public hospital. It dates back to 1984, and its repair would have incurred major costs, for an unreliable and ecologically unsustainable result. We have to bear in mind that in Europe, buildings account for 40% of energy consumption. In this context, the determination to improve energy efficiency is the starting point for the use of renewable energies.

Solar panels

Thanks to the joint funding from ERDF in conjunction with the municipality, the hospital of Szeged has been able to introduce an innovative action plan to reduce its energy consumption. The antiquated steam boilers have been replaced, as well as the external pipe system. The entire system is computer controlled, and thereby generates significant savings. Some 800 m² of solar panels have also been installed on the hospital roof. The energy generated now serves to produce hot water used for patient care and to heat the building. Under the supervision of a project manager selected by means of an invitation to tender, the work was undertaken without any difficulty, other than that the establishment had to continue to provide services whist the buildings were being renovated.


The impact of this project was felt in three areas: the environment, innovation and regional development. Gas consumption should reduce by about 43%, whereas the new system should generate a 20% energy saving (based on 2003 figures). The main innovation was the installation of solar panels on a public building. The educational aspect is clear: the initiative demonstrates to the population that using alternative energies is not only effective, but also generates substantial savings.

Improved thermal insulation of buildings and the recourse to innovative technologies also contribute to the creation of skilled jobs.

In addition, the experience of the hospital of Szeged has triggered a broader campaign for rational energy use which includes other municipal buildings, beginning with secondary schools and a medical centre. As it is a regional hospital, the impact of the project extends far beyond the city of Szeged. It could notably influence the construction sector, by inviting operators to design highly energy-efficient buildings.

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