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Submission of renewable energy program postponed

Hungary has received approval from the European Commission to postpone submission of its renewable energy action plan until September 30, 2010, the press department of the Ministry of National Economy told MTI. The original submission deadline was June 30, 2010.

The program must contain a plan as to how Hungary wants to achieve the 13% renewable energy target prescribed for the country by 2020.

The European Council decided in 2007 on increasing the ratio of renewable energy sources within energy utilization, and the Hungarian government then approved its national targets for the period between 2008-2020. Under these targets, production of green electricity was to increase from 1,630GW per year in 2006 to 9,470GW by 2020. In heat generation, the ratio of renewable energy sources is to be raised from 36PJ in 2006 to 87.1PJ. In fuel consumption, the aim is to increase the ratio of renewable energy from 1PJ per year in 2006 to 19.6PJ.

The latest figures from the National Development Ministry show renewable energy accounted for 7.3% of Hungary's total energy utilization in 2009 compared to 5.9% one year earlier.

In power generation, a slightly higher ratio of 7.5% has been reached. Last year, Hungary's total electricity utilization amounted to 41,518GW, of which renewable sources accounted for 2,704GW.

Electricity generated by wind turbines rose from 205GW 2008 to 327 GW, with the remainder produced by biomass, biogas and other waste-based power generation.

A recent ministry document shows the government expects environment and nature protection regulations to become more stringent, which therefore must be taken into account in energy policy decisions.

The energy strategy approved by the previous government for the period between 2008-2020 has been revised, and Hungary reported to the EU at the end of last year that it intends to reach the renewable targets independently as the country can only participate in the cooperation as an exporter in the area of biofuels. The EU has built flexibility mechanisms into the implementation of the climate protection targets: members states may buy or sell renewable energy sources.

Analyses show the renewable energy utilization program until 2020 will require funding of around HUF 400 billion. (MTI-ECONEWS)