The energy crisis strengthens the need for security of supply, and pursuing decarbonization targets is a good way to increase energy independence. That is according to János Péter Horvát, the President of the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (HEA).
In a presentation at a joint online conference of the Hungarian Economic Society and HEA on Wednesday, Péter János Horváth recalled that the pre-crisis period was fundamentally about sustainability, with European energy policy setting increasingly ambitious climate protection targets and subordinating the entire energy system to decarbonization.
In line with EU targets, Hungary has set out its own decarbonization program, which aims to achieve a 21% share of renewables in gross final energy consumption by 2030, with final energy consumption not exceeding 785 petajoules (PJ). Hungary has also committed to achieving 90% of electricity generation decarbonization by 2030, and a target of 6,500 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity by the end of the cycle, the HEA President said.
János Péter Horváth pointed out that the country has met its 2020 renewable energy targets, reaching nearly 14% of the 13% target, and the share of renewable energy sources in the electricity and transport sectors is steadily increasing. In 2021, 63.5% of the electricity generated came from carbon neutral sources, including 44.3% from nuclear and 19.3% from renewables. The target of 6,500 MW of solar capacity by 2030 could be met as early as 2024.
The energy crisis triggered by what he termed as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has shifted the focus from sustainability to prices and security of supply, the President said. He stressed that the Hungarian economy is heavily dependent on natural gas, and the sanctions on energy carriers and the Russian fossil fuel divestment program could threaten Hungary's security of supply in the short term.
Continuing and speeding up the decarbonization process is a good way to overcome the energy crisis caused by high prices and supply uncertainties," he added.
“The decarbonization process is challenging in the short term, due to the integration of renewables into the grid and the need to maintain system balance, but in the long term it will increase security of supply and energy independence. Green energy investments, grid reinforcement and upgrading, energy efficiency measures will lead to more expensive energy in the short term, but in the longer term will help avoid price shocks during an oil or gas crisis," the HEA President concluded.
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