Sovata is a town in Mures county, central Romania.It formed part of the Székely Land region of the historical Transylvania province. The first data about Sovata are from 1578. By 1583 it already was a village. Due to its warm water and salty lakes it became increasingly popular during the next centuries. It gained the status of town in 1952.

The town is located in the Eastern boundary area of the Transylvanian Basin, along the Small-Kukullo river. This boundary area is a gradual transition area between the volcanic platou of Gorgenyi mountains on East, and the lower hills of Kukullo river. Here, the salt can be found in surface appearance, resulting specific surface area development and characteristic forms of relief. Sovata town, the largest city in Sovidek hills, is locate on 520 meters above sea level.

Thanks to it’s topography, Sovata basin is located lower than it’s environmnent, so temperature inversion is a frequent phenomen. The extensive forests reduce the daily and annual values of temperature fluctuations, while delaying the snow melt and lenghtening the duration of surface runoff. Solar radiation reaches 146-153 W/m2 in general. Sovata has a temperate climate with subalpine influences. The average annual temperature is 6-8 degrees Celsius. The annual ammount of rainfall is 755 mm, the driest month is September with 32,3 mm/m2.

Sovata’s most important saline water is the Bear Lake with 40000 m2 area, a touristic attraction, which is unique in Europe, its water being helio-thermal and salty, with well-known therapeutic effects (for chronic gynecological symptoms, severe rheumatic pains, peripheral nervous system and post-accidental motor diseases). There are four more salty lakes: Nut Lake, Black Lake, Red Lake and Green Lake. In the interwar period, Sovata became one of the most fashionable spas in the country, visited several times even by the Romanian Royal Family.

Population: The number of population of the town is 10234 (2011).

Economy: Balneary tourism and leisure tourism represents this town best. The number of tourists increases year by year due to more and more sophisticated facilities and services offered. The most developed activity profile is wood processing and production of construction materials, using local raw materials.

Infrastructure: The most important energy types used are electric energy, wood and natural gas for heating, wind energy (in 1 case). The heating of buildings and flats is resolved with common or personal central heating with natural gas boilers. There are also a few wood stoves.

The electricity supply of the town is resolved with transformers from the existing high voltage network. The electricity distribution is partially solved with underground cables, but there are areas where air network still exists. In the past years the town has changed a part of the traditional bulbs into economy bulbs in public lighting.

RES potential: The most important RES potential is in biomass and hydro energy.

Energy related situation and energy goals: The most important energy saving potential are the wood, biomass and hydro energy. There are 2 small hydro power plants in the area and 1 in private ownership. The municipality puts a huge accent on the environmental issues, they take in consideration that building solar energy power plants or small hydro power plants can affect in a bad way the environment. They would like to use renewable energy sources in an environmental friendly way, without effecting the ecosystem. The municipality plans to resolve the heating of the municipal hospital and one school with wood chip boilers. The municipality already prepared the preliminary studies for these buildings and for this method. They plan to use more small hydro power plants in the area. They think solar energy is not so effective in their case. The municipality has led an initialization on national level in the creation of the Romanian Environmental Friendly Towns Association, based on a Hungarian model. In 2010 another city, Târgu-Mureş took the leading role in this project.

In 2010/2011 the municipality has joined into the development of an energetic program on national level. As a result of this program 4 Local Energy Planning Committee were established in 4 municipalities of Romania: Sovata, Brusturoasa, Piscu and Sarulesti.

The committees elaborated programs, implemented illustrative activities (they installed LED lamps in street lighting) and organized study visits to Norway.

In 2009/2010 the Rhododendron Association initialized a local composting program in co-operation with the local municipality and Szike association from Budapest, which is part of the Local Climate Protection Strategy.

Sovata did not sign the CoM yet and they have no SEAP yet.

Webpage of the town: