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Hungary supports pilot projects in the field of energy innovation

Hungarian Ministry for Innovation and Technology launched a series of tenders with a maximum allocation of 12 billion forints (34 million euros) to support investments in clean energy solutions and transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

Earlier this year, Hungary’s government adopted its Climate and Environmental Protection Plan, which aims to make 90 per cent of the electricity generated in Hungary carbon-free by 2030.

“The primary objective of the tenders is to encourage the development and mass implementation of innovative solutions, which promote the increased reliance on renewable energy sources in electricity generation,” said Péter Kaderják, Minister of State for Energy- and Climate Policy.

The first tender supports pilot projects focusing on the establishment and operation of energy communities with a budget of 2 billion forints (5.6 million euros). The pilot projects should contribute to the decentralization of power generation, improving supply security. With the establishment of energy communities, the government plans to encourage the active participation of producers and consumer in the market, leading to improved energy efficiency and the enhanced ability of distribution and transmission system operators to ensure the balance of the system.

The second tender aims to provide clean energy solutions to those settlements which have no connection to the natural gas network. The most generous budget is allocated to innovative solutions to integrate carbon-neutral energy sources, mostly solar power plants into the system. This is in line with the Hungarian government’s objective to effect a six-fold increase in Hungary’s solar energy production capacity in the next 10 years.

Finally, the fourth tender supports distribution- and transmission system operators to meet the needs of the transforming market.

Those tenders are expected to create competition for innovative solutions. There are no pre-selected technologies, the pilot projects will be evaluated by a commission of independent experts who will choose those initiatives that offer the most suitable solution to the given problem.

Mr Kaderják called the ministry’s initiative the first major step in the implementation of the innovation chapter of the National Energy Strategy adding that the targets of the recently adopted Climate and Environmental Action Plan are also reflected in these pilot projects.

The decarbonisation of the electricity sector is a priority area in the overall energy and climate strategy of Hungary envisaged in the ambitious objective of making 90 per cent of the country’s electricity carbon-free by 2030. However, 60 per cent of Hungary’s electricity production is already carbon-neutral, and the government made clear that nuclear energy complemented with renewables, mainly solar energy, is the cornerstone of its strategy towards the 90 per cent target.

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