Hungarian State Secretary for Energy Attila Steiner said that the Government will suspend the next phase of subsidies for home solar panels after the current tender for the support ends this autumn.
Steiner said that the second phase will be suspended until an agreement on Hungary’s Recovery and Resilience Funding (RRF) facility is reached. He noted that the Government is pre- financing the solar panel subsidies from the central budget until such an agreement is signed.
So far, over 43,000 applications for solar panel subsidies have been submitted, and contracts have been signed on support for over 25,000 of those applicants. Subsidies of almost 220 million euros have been cleared.
Steiner also noted that the Government has decided to temporarily stop households with newly installed solar panels from joining the country’s feed-in tariff system until the electricity network is upgraded to accommodate growing RES capacity.
According to the Hungarian Solar Panel Association (MNNSZ), the government’s decision to suspend the grid feed-in of electricity generated by future solar systems is contrary to the interests of the sector, the population, and the country.
Until now, the system operated on a balance settlement basis, whereby only the difference between the energy produced by the solar panels and the energy consumed by the household had to be settled. If users consumed more, they paid the extra to the electricity supplier. If, however, more energy was produced, the excess was reimbursed by the electricity supplier. Thus, for private individuals, this could pay for the investment in solar panels within six to eight years, while for smaller companies it could pay for the investment in one or two years. However, from now on, the surplus energy generated will not be accepted by the utility company, it can only be used for home consumption during the day, but in the evening, when the family really starts to use electricity, this option will be lost, unless they have electricity storage capacities.
MNNSZ said that the new regulation abolishes balance settlement, which would still be possible until the end of next year, according to EU rules. Removing the possibility of grid feed-in will make solar investments pointless for households, they added.