Electricity

Szijjártó: No responsible green energy policy without nuclear power, electric mobility

Szijjarto No responsible green energy policy without nuclear power electric mobility

Photo: Balkan Green Energy News

Published

May 13, 2024

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Published:

May 13, 2024

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Energy policy has become a hostage of ideological debates and hypocrisy, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a keynote speech at Belgrade Energy Forum. In his view, “spreading nuclear power all around” and accelerating the electrification of road transportation are the key preconditions for a safe, timely, responsible and carbon-neutral future.

Responsible energy policy is always a matter of mathematics, as there is always a number for a country’s demand over a certain period, and physics, from the perspective of infrastructure, which determines where a country can get gas and oil from through pipelines, for example. It is how Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó defined it in a keynote speech today at Belgrade Energy Forum.

Safety and security of energy supply must always be the number one priority, alongside environmental protection, he pointed out. It is only possible to address the two aspects if energy policy is “no longer a hostage of ideology and hypocrisy,” according to Szijjártó.

Electricity consumption to double by 2030

The composition of a national energy mix must be a sovereign decision of a country and its specificities must be taken into consideration, Hungary’s top diplomat and energy policy maker stressed at the conference, organized by Balkan Green Energy News.

“Spreading nuclear power all around” and accelerating the electrification of road transportation are the key preconditions for a safe, timely, responsible and carbon-neutral future, Szijjártó warned. The global increase in industrial production, heating and cooling and transportation demand are set to double the consumption of electricity by the end of the decade, in his view.

Ideological debates are leaving the physical reality totally out of consideration, Hungary’s top diplomat and energy policy maker said at the conference

Nuclear energy can safely and reliably provide sufficient and cheap electricity, while protecting nature, the minister underscored. Without a faster transition of road transportation to electric mobility, there is “no hope” that green goals would stay within reach, he claimed.

“If you look back at the recent years, it’s easy to see that energy policy has become a hostage of ideological debates and hypocrisy. And these debates are leaving the physical reality totally out of consideration. This approach has been reflected in the sanctions which have been implemented by the European Union against Russia. While the Western European countries are so proud about themselves getting rid of Russian oil, for example, it’s easy to understand why Europe became the number one customer of Indian oil and why Russia has increased its share from 0.5% to 35%” in Indian oil imports, Szijjártó stated.

Peter Szijjarto Belgrade Energy Forum
Szijjártó suggested that European clients are buying Russian oil through India

No. 1 supplier of liquefied natural gas to Western European ports is Russia

Moreover, he said that the EU rejects requests from Central European countries, among which he counts Serbia as well, for financial assistance to increase gas pipeline capacity in the continent’s southeast. The administration in Brussels argues that gas won’t be part of the energy mix anymore in 15 years, the minister added.

“When it comes to the proud Western European countries again, highlighting that they got rid of Russian gas, the reality is it was the number one customer of Russian gas last month. And the biggest share of LNG in Western European ports is Russian gas,” Szijjártó said.

German, French, American firms remained in Rosatom’s Paks 2 nuclear power project in Hungary

As for nuclear energy, he pointed to an example from Hungary. The government has signed a deal for the construction of the Paks 2 facility with Russian state-owned company Rosatom. On the ground, there are German, French and American subcontractors, paid by the Russians, the minister noted.

He interpreted the situation by saying that business leaders have “maintained common sense.” In addition, Russia was the main supplier of uranium last year to the United States, Szijjártó said.

Chinese battery makers came to supply German automotive producers

Hungary is among the few countries in the world that increased its gross domestic product and decreased emissions at the same time, the minister of foreign affairs and trade told the audience. “I think this should be the benchmark,” Szijjártó explained.

He went further to suggest there is “no successful Western corporate strategy without a rational East-to-West cooperation,” again referring to his country. Namely, it is the world’s only meeting place of the top three carmakers from Germany and the top three Chinese battery producers, Szijjártó said.

Hungary intends to promote incentives for the automotive industry in the electric vehicle segment during its EU presidency, which begins in July, the minister revealed. The government will also promote global cooperation between such companies, he added.

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