Economy & Policy

Hungary set to reach climate goal earlier

The country has saved more than EUR 123 million from its solar capacity increase since March.

Attila Steiner, minister of state for energy at the Ministry of Technology and Industry, announced that Hungary has seen an unprecedented increase in the use of solar energy in recent years, with solar capacity already more than 1.5 times the capacity of the Paks nuclear power plant. 

With the increase in solar capacity between March and September 2022, Hungary has saved €123 million, taking into account the current gas price sanctions, which is equivalent to the energy supply of 63,000 households, i.e., a city the size of Sopron.

Steiner stressed that with the energy crisis caused by the misguided Brussels sanctions, solar energy is an excellent tool to preserve the country’s security of supply and keep energy prices down for households. Hungary is particularly well placed in this respect, and in recent years the sector has benefited from large-scale state support. This means that the 6 gigawatts (GW) target for 2030 could be reached much sooner, even within a few years.

The government has ordered upgrades to the electricity grid to meet the surge in demand for solar power caused by the energy crisis. While these are being implemented, the grid needs to be de-stressed and stabilized, which is why the feed-in of newly connected residential solar systems has been temporarily suspended, Steiner pointed out.

The secretary of state stressed that a battery can ensure that the energy generated is used locally so that it is available even when the system is not producing. This way, households can produce and store their own energy, independently of the central grid.

The government is looking into the possibility of state support for energy storage, while the Hungarian Energy and Utilities Regulatory Office regularly monitors the state of the grid and proposes lifting the suspension of feed-in.

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