Gheorgheni is on the north-eastern corner of Szekelyland in Harghita County, between Borsec and Marosfõ pass. The town is built along national road DN12, which travels north-to-south. The town lies on the alluvial cone of Békény creek. Neighboring mountains to the north are the Kelemen and Besztercei Mountains. To the east, the Ceahlau Mountains and to the south, the Ciuc Mountains. Located to the west is the Gyergyo Basin and at the opposite side, the Harghita Mountains and at their base, the Belchia Stream. The town’s average height proper is 818 m above sea level. The highest point on the periphery ranges between 1600-1650 m in altitude.
The climate of Gheorgheni is influenced by its geography and altitude, as well as the closed nature of the Gheorgheni basin. The local people commonly say, “For nine months out of year it is cold, for the other three months… it is not hot”. This isn’t surprising, because for many years, the average temperature of the region was 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees F). A detailed weather study of Romania called the region “the North Pole of Europe”.
Over 55 percent of the region of Gheorgheni is forested. The dominant trees of the area are Spruce. The undergrowth consists of various brush species.
Economy: If we examine the internal structure of the economy, we find that the retail and wholesale are the most important branches for the town, immediately followed by the region’s single large scale industry, the timber industry. The furniture, textile and garment industry also plays an important role in the town’s economy, but their operational efficiency, except for the furniture industry, is very bad. The poor internal structure of the economy shows in the practically weightlessness of the following sectors: catering industry, communications, informatics and services.
RES potential: The most important RES potential to be used is in wood, wind, solar energy, hydro energy.
Energy related situation and energy goals: The town main energy source is electric energy. The central heating system of the town is operated by using wood chip and wood pellet boilers completed with gas when needed. 7 schools in the town produce hot water with solar energy using photovoltaic systems. The town plans to expand this methodology on other schools also.
There is no organisational structure with respect to the implementation of sustainable energy policy in the town. There is a technical director at the council who deals with energy issues. The town plans to create in the future an energy management department in the framework of the council during the structural rearrangement of the city council.
The council plans to use wind energy for power generating which can be used for public lighting and power supply of public buildings. One wind power plant is already working on the top of Gyergyói-havasok mountain, called Pongrácz-tető, close to the town. The council plans to establish more wind power plants on this mountain, but not as a coherent wind power plant park.
The town is challenged to expand the use of wood waste for heating in a wider scale. To process the wood waste they would like to introduce the plasma burning methodology.
There are a lot of mountain creeks in the surrounding areas, there is a capacity to build small hydroelectric power plants on the Békény, Csanád, Juh and Gyilkos creeks.
The municipality doesn’t have any experience in terms of sustainable energy planning and implementation, there is only one person working in the field, the technical director, but there is no expert team behind him.
Gheorgheni did not sign the CoM yet and they have no SEAP yet.
Webpage of the town: www.gyergyoszentmiklos.net