Energy Transition of an industrial settlement through the example of Kecskemét



Publication Date

August 2022


In the context of climate change to decrease greenhouse gas emissions the decarbonisation of the energy sector is the main goal (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2021). There is much research about the effects of energy resources including fossil fuels and renewables, but there are questions about the implementation of this knowledge into spatial planning. In this research, we examine the energy transition through the example of Kecskemét. The project area is situated in the Great Hungarian Plain, in the middle of Hungary. It is the eighth largest settlement with the population of 109 651 (Hungarian Central Statistical Office n.d.). Geographically, it is a typical example of a lowland settlement with a long history of agriculture. However, in the last decade industrial development has changed its characteristics after. In the last decade, industrial development has changed its characteristics after Mercedes-Benz opened its factory.

Our research goal is to examine the possibilities and barriers of self-sufficient energy production of Kecskemét based on renewable sources. Which energy resources are available in the area? Which environmental affects are related to renewable resources specifically in the research area? Which landscape use tendencies characterize the area, and how do these tendencies effects the availability of renewable energy sources? How has been the fast-growing industry affected the land use system? How could landscape architecture improve to use renewable sources most efficiently?

Firstly, we examine the land use characteristic of Kecskemét in time aspect to identify the tendencies, and the available renewable resources. Afterwards, the environmental effects of each resource are examined related to the land-use system. To put it into a broader context, we also identify the energy networks and their roles in decarbonisation and self-sufficient energy production. Finally, we present landscaping tools for energy efficiency.

Geographic conditions and land-use systems influence the availability of renewable energy. The research area has potential in solar and wind energy, but both resources are not flexible and controllable. Lack of surface water also limits energy production. Water is not only a renewable energy resource but also plays a key role in thermal power plants. The study shows that self-sufficiency based on renewable energy has a time and space aspect and existing energy networks plays a key role in self-sufficiency. It is also visible that an industrial explosion cause difficulties to find a balance in energy production. Energy systems of settlement with the same character are more likely to be interpretable on a regional scale.