Hungary: Installed solar capacity almost reaching NPP Paks capacity

, SEE Energy News

According to the latest data from the Hungarian electricity transmission system operator MAVIR, the development of industrial solar panels (with an installed capacity of 50 kW and more) for the use of solar energy in Hungary gained serious momentum in 2015, when the installed solar capacity increased more than three times compared to the previous year, reaching 30.9 MW. Two years later, in 2017, it crossed the 100 MW limit, approaching 1,000 MW last year and 1,400 MW this year. Now, installed capacity in solar energy in Hungary reached 2,000 MW, so it can be compared with the installed capacity of nuclear power plant Paks – 2,012.8 MW. Of that, the combined capacity of industrial solar power plants is 1,361.3 MW.

MAVIR data show that the solar capacity in 2017 still accounted for only 1.2 % of the total Hungarian installed capacity, while on 1 December this year it reached 13.8 %. Comparability with nuclear energy refers only to the installed capacity, while the availability of solar power plants, conditioned by weather conditions, cannot be compared with baseload power plants. The utilization rate of solar cells in Hungary in 2020 was almost 3 % higher than in the previous year, and amounted to 18.8 %.

MAVIR also noted that rapid and significant expansion of photovoltaic plants poses a challenge for balancing the electricity system.

According to the Hungarian Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (MEKH), the increase in solar energy utilization in households (unlicensed generating units with an installed capacity of less than 50 kW) was somewhat more uniform. Already in 2011, solar panels were put into operation on the roofs of houses with a total capacity of 2.9 MW, while the utilization at the industrial level was still only 0.4 MW. The combined capacity of home solar panels exceeded 100 MW in 2015, growth accelerated in 2017 and remained stable in the last three years, up to 640.2 MW registered in late September 2020.