Nuclear energy was a dominant factor in Hungary in 2022 as well

1/24/23 1:25 PM
Last year, the vast majority of carbon-neutral electricity was generated at the Paks Nuclear Power Plant. Over the past 10 years, domestic electricity consumption has grown by an average of 1,28% per year.

The Paks NPP remained the main source of domestic climate-friendly electricity in 2022, according to the Analyst Minutes report on last year’s electricity industry trends. According to the study, the nuclear power plant produced nearly three quarters of the country's carbon-neutral electricity, with solar panels feeding 21% into the grid.

The summary, which can also be found on the website, states that Paks Nuclear Power Plant remains the dominant producer of electricity in Hungary (45%), and its role is unquestionable. Fossil generators accounted for 34% of domestic resources - from a climate policy point-of-view, it is positive that natural gas, the least polluting fossil fuel, played a more important role. Renewable energy sources already accounted for about a fifth of domestic electricity production last year, with solar parks and rooftop solar panels playing the largest role.

Import continued to play a significant role in the electricity supply in 2022, accounting for 26% of the total, with net imports exceeding 12 TWh (net imports have been around 11-14 TWh over the last 10 years). Imports are our main load-following source, their value being mainly depending on domestic system load, solar PV feed-in and of course the domestic and international price environment. 

Nuclear energy was the largest contributor to the electricity consumption mix, with a share (including residential solar) of 33%. The role of natural gas was 18% with 8,7 TWh of gas-fired generation in 2022. Our gas-fired power plants used 2 billion cubic metres of natural gas to generate electricity (and heat).

The Analyst Minutes also points out that the integration of solar panels into the domestic electricity system continued in 2022, with a total increase of over 1050 MW in domestic solar capacity, reaching a total of 4006 MW by the end of the year. This is already a very significant size in terms of electricity system load, with a strong sunny spell having a significant downward impact on wholesale electricity prices due to increased supply.

The study draws attention to the fact that with the spread of weather-dependent power plants, energy policy decisions will increasingly have to take into account cost factors and consequences beyond the specific costs of the plant. These include the need for grid development and system regulation, and the additional social and environmental costs associated with specific technologies. The sum of these is the total cost of electricity supply, the long-term optimisation and minimisation of which is one of the objectives of energy policy.