Hungary currently has a capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) solar capacity and the government aims to achieve a three-fold increase by 2030, in the industrial and household sectors combined, said László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology in Csorna, northwestern Hungary, where EcoSolifer will start commercial production of solar cells at a 100 megawatts (MW) factory.
The Minister highlighted that the capacity of solar panels installed on rooftops accounts for a significant share of growth in the household solar sector. Therefore, the government wants to support the developments with non-refundable subsidies from 2021.
The goal is to increase the rate of carbon-free electricity production to 90 per cent by 2030, relying on nuclear and solar energy to reach this target.
According to the Minister, scaling up production capacity in the solar sector is also important from the aspect of industrial policy. He pointed out that the EU gave up its efforts to become competitive with Asian countries who dominate this segment, but new technological processes, such as those represented by the Ecosolifer plant, could help Europe to reposition itself on the market.
“Hungary’s future is Hungarian, green and high-tech and the current investment meets all of these priorities,” he said. In the future the factory plans to diversify its portfolio with modules and units that are also suitable for energy storage, the minister added.
The total value of the investment was 53 million euros (18.9 billion forints) and the government provided 6 million euros support through the Hungarian Development Bank.
The project was put on hold for years. Ecosolifer had originally planned to begin the commercial production in the first quarter of 2018, while the first cells were set to come off the production line in the first half of last year.
István Maczikó, Chief Technology Officer of Ecosolifer said that the capacity of the factory will be 100 MW. In an earlier interview the company COO, Rikus Janken told pv magazine that the capacity may be further raised to 300 MW at a later stage depending on market development.