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Energy minister: Energy supply secure

Hungary's energy supply is secure: the country's five big gas stores are full, Energy Affairs Minister Csaba Lantos told parliament's economic committee at a hearing on Tuesday.

The government is maintaining the cap on utility bills for households, Lantos told the body.

He said that Hungary’s gas consumption had dropped more than the 15 percent European Union target, while electricity consumption had also declined. He added that it was still “realistic” for Hungary’s economy to grow in spite of the decrease in energy consumption.

Addressing the transition to green energy sources, Lantos said more than 1,000 MW of solar capacity was added in Hungary last year and capacity was set to grow by over 1,500 MW this year. Solar capacity stands at 5,500 MW at present, including 3,300 MW at solar parks and 2,200 from home solar panels, he added.

He said a 75 billion forint (EUR 197m) tender would be called in January for the installation of home solar panels together with battery storage systems.

Hungary needs to use the full range of its energy resources, including geothermal and wind energy as well as gas and oil, he said. He added that the distance from residential areas required for wind turbines was set to fall from 12km to 700m.

The minister said building 1,000-1,500 MW of wind farm capacity in Hungary would be “rational”.

From January, water fees for businesses and institutions will be uniform across the country, he added.

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