Hungary, Country ran out of available capacity to connect new renewable energy projects to the electricity transmission network

, SEE Energy News

Hungary ran out of available capacity to connect new renewable energy projects to the electricity transmission network, much to the dismay of RES investors. Namely, in early May, Hungarian electricity transmission system operator MAVIR set the amount of available RES capacity for connection to the network to zero MVA.

The current available capacity allocated to high- voltage transformer stations is also zero, which means that new connection requests cannot be accepted in the tender process. Instead, new connection requests have to be submitted according to an individual procedure, which is more complex and requires that those who connect to the network bear the costs of the connecting infrastructure, including transformer stations.

There were some fundamental changes in the Hungarian electricity market in the last decade. In terms of electricity generation, there has been a shift from a few large producers that were typical in the past to highly decentralized production consisting of many small producers. Meanwhile, the accelerated return on investments in solar projects has dramatically increased demand for network connection capacity, while the “first come, first served” capacity allocation approach has become inadequate.

The Hungarian electricity system currently has about 3,000 MW of installed capacity in solar energy. The installed solar capacities have increased tenfold in the last five years, and further expansion of solar energy in households is expected, where the capacities could double in a year or two. This means that the Hungarian electricity system, in addition to 3,000 MW of renewable capacity already in operation, still has at least 5,000 MW in demand for the connection of new RES projects.

However, MAVIR argues that the current lack of connection capacity does not mean stopping the development of green energy production, and the targets set for 2030 could be achieved earlier than planned, within three to five years.