Grid Connection, Lead Times and Costs Main Barriers to Hungarian Wind Power, but New Government has Ambitious Plans to Increase Renewable Energy

By Ewea, PRNE
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BUDAPEST, Hungary, July 8, 2010 - The time taken to connect wind farms to the grid, and the high
costs of doing so, are the main barriers to wind energy development in
Hungary, it was revealed today in Budapest at a workshop organised by the
European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Hungarian Wind Energy
Association (HuWEA). Grid connection takes an average of 45 months in the
country, and 10.6% of total project costs are spent on getting it. However,
the new government is promising new plans to help reach the 2020 targets.

"Costs and long lead times are not the only problem," said
Jacopo Moccia, EWEA's Regulatory Affairs Adviser. "Insufficient grid capacity
and an unstable decision-making process for granting building permits are
also deterring investors. Things must change if Hungary is to reach its 2020
renewable energy target, and that will not be possible without a substantial
contribution from wind energy."

"Hungary needs to reach 13% renewable energy by 2020, and the
new government is looking into how to exceed this target," Peter Olajos,
State Secretary for Energy and Climate Policy in the Ministry of National
Economy told the workshop today. "Our aim is to create new jobs, reduce
energy dependence on fossil fuels, and support rural development: renewables
are one of the means to reach these goals."

"In order to achieve the 2020 targets, 80% of investments must
come from private investors. For this, we need to create an attractive
environment: resources, which we have, grids improvements, which we can do,
and a regulatory framework, which the government intends to do."

"It would be a matter of great pride for me if by the end of
2014 the government could announce that installed wind capacity is
quadrupled," added Olajos.

At the end of 2009, Hungary had just above 200 MW of installed
wind energy capacity. EWEA and HuWEA would like to see at least 1,200 MW
installed in the country by 2020, which would provide about 5% of its
electricity demand.

Wind energy could provide up to 17% of EU electricity demand
by 2020. This would avoid 333 million tonnes of CO2 per year, equal to 29% of
the EU's greenhouse gas reduction target. Currently the wind industry employs
192,000 people in the EU; by 2020 this number is expected to grow to 446,000
jobs - 33 new jobs every week from now up to 2020.

The information on barriers to wind energy development is
taken from the findings of the EU-funded project, Wind Barriers:

For more information contact: Paolo Berrino, EWEA, paolo.berrino at, +32-2-400-10-55

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