The context

The Slovak city of Košice and the neighbouring regions are in an ongoing battle with pollution, caused primarily by the city’s heavy reliance on the steel industry and the use of fossil fuels for heating. But positive change is on the horizon.

The region holds immense geothermal potential which, if harnessed effectively, could improve the situation. A large geothermal reservoir in the Košice basin, paired with high demand for heat in the city, present a promising opportunity. 

The challenge

Transitioning to geothermal energy

An ambitious plan has been laid to tap into the Košice geothermal resource, and to ultimately replace a significant portion of current heat production with clean, renewable energy.

But this project faces technical and economic challenges, including for the necessary geothermal heat extraction infrastructure. It would involve installing three geothermal wells, requiring highly specialised technical expertise, and expanding the district heating network over some 15 km to connect to the new heat source.

The transition to geothermal energy also calls for substantial financial resources — making the support of the EU Just Transition Fund vital. This fund promotes cleaner, more sustainable energy sources, providing a lifeline for regions heavily dependent on fossil fuels.


The plan

The path to decarbonisation

By combining technical expertise, financial resources and a shared commitment to sustainability, Košice can pave the way for other regions to follow suit in transitioning to cleaner, more efficient energy systems.

JASPERS experts were asked to help prepare the project documentation needed to request funding from the Just Transition Fund. This meant reviewing project funding documents, ensuring compliance with state aid rules, identifying the necessary EU grant amount, and running a financial and economic analysis.

Thanks to this work, the application met the requirements of the Just Transition Fund, demonstrating the project’s economic viability and securing approval for grant allocation.

The assistance provided by JASPERS streamlined this process and accelerated project preparation and approval, reducing unnecessary work during project evaluation.

The results

The transition to geothermal energy in Košice will benefit the environment and more than 228 000 residents.

1. Lower greenhouse gas emissions

Geothermal energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By replacing fossil fuel-based heating systems with geothermal energy, Košice can contribute significantly to mitigating climate change and reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

2. Better air quality

The shift towards geothermal energy will have a positive impact on the air quality in Košice. By not burning fossil fuels for heating, the city will reduce pollution and enjoy cleaner, healthier air.

3. Energy independence and security

Tapping into geothermal energy will provide Košice with a reliable, local source of heat, reducing its dependence on imported fossil fuels and ensuring energy security and stability. This safeguards Košice against fluctuations in global fuel prices and geopolitical uncertainty, providing long-term energy security for the region.

The project also creates new job opportunities in the geothermal energy sector.