Renewables

Hungary’s power grid can’t fit any more photovoltaic capacity

Hungary power grid solar power photovoltaic capacity

Photo: Watt A Lot on Unsplash

Published

October 19, 2022

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Published:

October 19, 2022

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Until Hungary gets access to European funds for grid upgrades, any new solar power plants and small rooftop systems can only be used for own consumption. The domestic PV industry is demanding exceptions for places where the network can take in more capacity.

The procedure to install solar power panels for own consumption for households in Hungary will be simplified, but they won’t be able to get a connection to the grid for the time being. With the decision, the government in Budapest made a U-turn in its policy in the sector as until now it was promoting the deployment of the technology and the concept of prosumers.

The rule so far in Hungary was that small licensed photovoltaic systems would deliver excess power to the grid and the owner would get compensation for a net surplus. In case the family consumes more than it produces, its bill is lowered through a balance settlement system.

Rule change makes it pointless for households to install solar panels

If there is no grid connection, it is pointless for households to install such facilities, according to the Hungarian Solar Panel Association (MNNSZ). Electricity is usually produced when people aren’t home and is wasted, the organization stressed. It pointed out batteries are insufficient and that they add significant costs.

The decision will destroy the solar sector and harm the national economy, MNNSZ said and asked for exceptions for areas where the grid still has available capacity for household photovoltaic systems.

Families are now unable to switch to renewable heating

The government explained that it is waiting to get access to funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan as the European Union blocked the transfer due to its dispute with Hungary about the rule of law in the country. Projects would then be launched, financed by cheap loans from the package, to modernize and strengthen the electricity network, but now it can’t integrate any more solar power that haven’t obtained permits, officials said.

The turnaround is especially tricky for people who want to set up solar panels to power heat pumps for heating, MNNSZ warned and noted that Hungary should reduce its dependence on gas.

Not a single grid connection has been approved since last year for non-household photovoltaics while in the last several years businesses could only install such facilities for own consumption, the association noted.

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