Hungary lacks traditional fuels but is rich in renewable energy sources. These are our national energy assets.
The use of renewables is far below the possibilities that our available resources offer. The share of renewable energy sources in the country’s gross final energy use was 9.6% in 2014. The share of electricity produced from renewable sources was 7% of the total electricity consumption. The average of the 28 member states of the EU was 27.5% in 2014. Almost half of the capacity of the renewable energy power plants in Hungary is biomass-based, a further third is wind power. The first and last time that wind power plant construction quotas were allocated in Hungary was in 2006. Wind capacity has not been allowed to increase since then, despite the favourable conditions and investors’ interest. Solar power in Hungary makes up only 0.1% of the total power plant capacity, which is among the lowest in the EU: far lagging behind even Bulgaria and Slovakia, despite the fact that solar panel prices are continuously and significantly dropping in Europe, making this source of electricity more and more economic and accessible even for households. According to the relevant European Parliament Directive (2009/28/EC ) 20% of the energy consumption of the EU has to be of renewable energy sources by 2020. This objective was translated into binding national targets, considering the characteristics and situation of each member state. The National Renewable Energy Action Plan of Hungary targets a 14.65% share of renewables in the final energy use by 2020. By 2050, renewables could cover up to 50% of the total Hungarian energy use and 80% of the total electricity produced while the safety of supply is still maintained – according to the results of the joint energy simulation of Energiaklub and the German Wuppertal Institut. Surveys show that two-thirds of Hungarians think that Hungary should prefer renewables over nuclear and fossil energy. All over the world the majority of new power plant capacities is of renewable energies. During the past decade there has been a fourfold increase in global investments in renewable technologies. In 2015 the total value of renewable energy projects around the globe reached 286 billion dollars (about HUF 83.000 billion). This amount would be enough for the construction of about 90 thousand, 2 MW onshore wind turbines – or 20 Paks II projects. Renewables are not the energy sources of the future, they are already here. International investment money and projects have already set this trend. It would not be wise for Hungary to stay out of this process. Investors are queueing up - all they need is a predictable, reliable business environment and permissions.