Hungary: To reach successful coal phase out Coal Region Committee established

, SEE Energy News

The Coal Region Committee was established within the framework of the European Union project LIFE-IP North-HU-Trans. As the green vision of the power plant and efforts to phase out coal are in line with the EU’s energy and climate policy goals, Hungary can count on the EU’s financial support.

The Coal Region Committee will be the first permanent platform supporting the coal phase-out in Hungary. The Committee will provide input to the sustainable, environmentally friendly transition of thermal power plant Matra, the last remaining coal-fired power plant in the Hungarian electricity system. Hungarian State Secretary for the Development of Circular Economy, Energy and Climate Policy Attila Steiner said that TPP Matra is currently the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Hungary, at the same time it plays a prominent role in Hungarian electricity generation.  950 MW coal-fired thermal power plant Matra is the second-largest power plant in Hungary, after nuclear power plant Paks, providing for up to 14 % of the country’s electricity production. It also accounts for nearly 50 % of the total energy sector greenhouse gas emissions in Hungary.

Last week, Steiner announced that TPP Matra will be shut down five years earlier, in 2025 instead of 2030. The transformation plant is also a cornerstone of Hungary’s National Energy and Climate Plan. The goal of the project is to decarbonise the plant with a mix of renewable energy, energy storage and natural gas technologies and to close two associated open pit lignite mines. At the same time, TPP Matra employs more than 2,000 people and the operation of nearly a thousand local businesses depends on its activities. The transformation project also aims to mitigate the potential negative socio-economic, energy and environmental consequences of the lignite phase-out.