Hungary: Is it about NPP Paks or future energy security?

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The question is not whether the two new reactors of Paks should be built but how other power plants will be built in the next decade so that Hungary’s electric power supply should remain secure.

MAVIR Pte. Ldt. [(the manager, operator and owner of the Hungarian electricity transmission grid] says that in the period until 2030 Hungary will need additional electric capacity of 7300 MW, especially to replace old, decommissioned power plants. In Hungary today 71 percent of electric power is generated by two power plants: Paks and Mátra coal-fired power plant. Thirty percent of Hungary’s electricity consumption – about 12 terawatt hours – is covered from import because the majority of domestic natural-gas fired power plants cannot compete with inexpensive, imported electricity. Much of imported electricity comes from Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Electricity imported from Ukraine is from coal-fired power plant in 100 percent, the Czech Republic: 51 percent and from Poland: 83 percent. Those power plants cannot operate cost-efficiently for long, and the existing reactors of Paks will have to be shut down between 2032 and 2037. If the new reactors were not commissioned, Hungary’s reliance on imported energy would rise above 50 percent, which would mean high exposure.

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