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Not all of the renewable energy projects will be allowed to connect to the network

On 6 March 2024 the Hungarian Government adopted a decree that will partially transform the county’s renewable energy landscape. In order to allocate the spare energy network capacities between those renewable energy producers who wish to connect to the energy network, the Hungarian Transmission System Operator (the state agency that controls the network, hereinafter referred to as the network licensee) started its allocation procedure on 30 November 2023. With regard to the unexpectedly high level of energy that applicants would have added to the network (their planned production was approximately 10 GW from solar power, 2.5 GW from wind power and a storage capacity that is able to hold 2.5 GW), the Government decree established new conditions for obtaining permission to connect to the energy network. The restrictions are necessary as the Hungarian network is not ready for the storage of this amount of energy yet.

In the next 60 days the connection permission can be granted to wind power applicants or those solar power applicants who remained from previous procedures if they can add their capacities to the network by 2030 at the latest. These applicants can modify or even withdraw some of their applications by reducing the installed capacity of the power plant in order to have a better chance of being connected in 2030, albeit with fewer projects.

Applications that can be postponed beyond 2030 shall be rejected uniformly by the network licensee without any specific assessment, the security paid by applicants will be refunded. In the future, the allocation of network spare capacity will be based on new rules to be developed by the end of 2024. New industrial-scale solar power projects that would add energy to the network will not be allowed to connect for indefinite period of time. According to the applicants’ project plans, their wind power investments production would have been more than 2.500 MW altogether. The Government will allow at least 670 MW, but only if the wind power projects concerned concentrate in a single network node.

A new map will be published on the Energy Ministry's website within 30 days showing the available connection points that are about to be installed and other relevant data, in order to support better planning. Updated quarterly, the map data will help industrial investors to develop their projects in mutually beneficial partnerships, in line with existing capacities and the carrying capacity of the network.

In addition to the production of green energy, it must also be stored for efficient use. Hungary’s current energy storage capacity of just 20 MW could increase twenty-fold by 2026 and fifty-fold by 2030. Increasing the storage capacity will allow investors to extend their renewable energy production. The Energy Ministry encourages investors to locate new generators and storage facilities mainly at existing or approved connection points, where they can invest even before 2030 and at lower connection costs than if they were to build a new connection point.