Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology Laszlo Palkovics said that the country plans to invest 16 billion euros by 2030 to increase electricity production and storage capacity in order to reduce its dependence on gas imports, majority of which come from Russia.
Last year, Hungary signed an agreement with Russian Gazprom, according to which, it receives 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year via Bulgaria and Serbia, to which one billion cubic meters is added via a pipeline from Austria. The agreement is valid for 15 years.
This July, Hungarian Government ended a year- long capping scheme for utility prices paid by residential consumers with high energy consumption. Minister Palkovics estimates that the removal of this cap would contribute to a decrease in gas consumption in the retail segment. However, he stressed that more measures are needed to reduce the share of natural gas in Hungary’s final energy consumption, from 35 % in 2021 to 26 % at the end of the decade, and the largest part of the progress will come as a result of investments in renewable energy, primarily solar energy.
According to him, the installed solar capacity will reach 8 GW by 2024, and the additional demand that will come from the industrial sector by 2030 will require new investments to modernize transmission network and energy storage capacities. He added that the Government will present a detailed plan regarding this matter in October.