The share of solar power plants in total energy generation in Hungary was 11.1% last year, the highest in the 27 countries of the European Union, the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (HEA) said in its electricity market report for 2021.
The aggregate electricity consumption of the 27 member states increased by 4.3% last year, while Hungarian consumption grew by 6% compared to the previous year. Demand was stronger in 2021 than in the same period last year in all months except February.
EU countries' electricity production rose at a similar pace to net consumption last year compared to 2020, but did not exceed the production levels seen in 2017-2019.
The report notes that the biggest change in the composition of generation was the reversal of the coal-gas substitution trend seen in previous years. The dramatic increase in gas prices has had a major impact on the relative profitability of gas-fired power plants compared to coal-fired plants, with coal-fired plants taking over part of their production.
Demand for production from lignite and lignite-fired power plants has also been boosted by the fact that, despite rising installed capacity, weather-related (solar, wind, hydro) renewable generation has increased only slightly due to adverse weather.
Gas-coal substitution became dominant last year, with coal-fired generation rising by around 20%, while gas-fired generation fell by 6.3% year-on-year.
In the 27 EU Member States, the role of fossil fuels in electricity generation increased, while the weight of carbon-free technologies fell from 62.9 to 62.2%. The role of weather-dependent renewables declined from 33.4 to 33.1%, while the weight of coal and lignite-fired generation increased by almost two percentage points from 12.3 to 14.2%, again exceeding the 13.9% contribution of gas-fired plants.
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