In Hungary, numerous experimental and commercial wind generators have been supported in the framework of the government´s Széchényi-Plan since 2000. This plan was initiated as a tool to vitalize the Hungary’s economy. As a result of considerable lobbying, the plan highlighted wind power among its priorities, due to that it is an environment-friendly way to produce electricity and it decreases the country’s import dependence of energy. In 2001, as a part of the Széchenyi Plan, a non-refundable subsidy of HUF 350 million was set to be awarded for the expansion of renewable energy resources. In Hungary, there is uncertainty how big the wind energy potential, while there is no country-sized wind energy map avail- able. Even though windmills started their way to Hungary, the first 250-kW generator was installed on the territory of the thermal plant at Inota in 2000. After six months from its opening, a new 600-kW wind generator was set into operation at Kulcs in June 2001 and two more wind generators were installed in 2002–2003.
According to Zervos and Kjaer (2008), after a few years of little progress, major developments in 2004 brought the Hungarian renewable energy target within reach. Geographical conditions in Hungary are favorable for renewable energy sources development, especially the use of biomass for the generation of electricity.
While environmental conditions are the main barrier to further hydropower development in the country, other renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, and wind energy are hampered by administrative constraints (for example, the permit process). The following measures were adopted for the promotion of the use of renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity:
• A feed-in system is in place It has been using technology-specific tariffs since 2005, when Decree 78/2005 was adopted. These tariffs are guaranteed for the lifetime of the installation;
• A green certificate scheme was introduced by the Electricity Act (2001, as
amended in 2005). This Act gives the government the right to define the start date of implementation. At that time, FiTs will cease to exist.
Nevertheless, from 2007, subsidies for cogeneration power and renewable energy sources will be decreased, since national goals of production from renewable energy sources were already achieved in 2005.
The Hungarian energy saving and energy efficiency improvement action pro- gram promoted the country’s determination to reach a share of renewable energy consumption of 6 % by 2010. The target set for Hungary in the EU directive is 3.6 % of gross electricity consumption. Progress is being made toward this target.
Hungary currently has just over 200 MW of installed wind power capacity, out of total generation capacity of more than 9,000 MW across the country (2.2 % of the total capacity installed). Hungary’s energy office, the MEH, has withdrawn a tender to allocate 410 MW of new wind power licenses in Hungary citing an ongoing review of the country’s renewable energy policy, but may issue a new tender in the future. The tender was issued at the same time when Hungary decided to lift an earlier 330 MW cap on wind power development. In the first qualification round of the tender, closed in March 2010, applicants handed in project proposals totaling 1,118 MW. A second round, with qualified bidders submitting FiT proposals, took place during the sum- mer. Licenses were to be allocated to applicants prepared to accept the lowest FiTs.
Hungary’s new government, which took office in May 2010, has already hinted that the tender may be scrapped, citing an apparent shortage of qualified bidders in the first round. This lack of competition could have led to high FiTs and an increase in end-user electricity prices. In its statement, the MEH added that Hungary’s new NREAP could “directly affect the regulatory environment in which the new wind power plants would have to operate.” The energy office also noted that wind energy remains a key priority and will be an important element of any long-term energy strategy; as a result, a new wind power tender may be issued if certain conditions are met.16
The Hungarian NREAP forecast that the country can reach 14.7 % renewables in gross energy consumption by 2020, exceeding their 13 % binding target by 1.7 %. The heating and cooling sectors are seen in the NREAP as the biggest contributor (18.9 % renewable energy source in consumption), with the electricity sector meeting just under 11 % of consumption with renewables. Biomass and wind are the two main renewable technologies in the electricity sector, with wind energy scheduled to meet over 3 % of total consumption. The build-out rate for new wind power throughout the period is, however, extremely irregular. The possibility of utilizing wind power in Hungary has been questioned many times, namely the country—for the most part—lies on a plain, gently hilly territory in the Karpathian Basin at 1,500–2,000 m. Slower and less frequent winds of this area have largely contributed to forming the opinion in the layman that these sources of energy are not worth utilizing. A big obstacle to the realization of wind power is that there is no existing country-sized wind map; thus, the concerns cannot be scientifically refused. Therefore, the preparation of a wind map of the country would help future installations significantly.
It is important to highlight that the potential for wind power development is relatively low in Hungary as most wind speeds do not exceed 5 m/s. However, wind conditions in the Northwest of the country are sufficient and it is hoped the attractive FiT will support ongoing developments.
The Hungarian NREAP sets a relatively modest target of 750 MW by 2020, which is half of the 1.2 GW EWEA believes can be easily achieved. The wind power capacity in the country at the end of 2012 was 329 MW, the same as that in 2011, and the government added only 1 MW of new wind power capacity in 2013, reaching 330 MW. However, the action plan forecasts that cumulative capacity for wind power is expected to reach 750 MW in 2020 (see Table 5.23). This is an unambitious target that suggests that around 420 MW of new wind power capacity will be built until 2020.
Generation of Electricity Using Wind Energy
The evolution of the generation of electricity using wind energy in Hungary during the period 2008–2011 is shown in Fig. 5.37.
According to Fig. 5.37, the generation of electricity using wind power in Hungary during the period 2008–2011 increased 205 %. It is expected that the use of wind power for the generation of electricity in Hungary will continue increas- ing, but in a low rate, during the coming years.
Some €125 million in funds were available until 2013 for the promotion of the utilization of wind power for the generation of electricity in the country. This amount is made up of 85 % of EU funds and 15 % funds contributed by the Hungarian government.