21 Nov 2018
As a consequence of prices rising quickly in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS), the Hungarian government and the owners of Hungary’s last big lignite power plant, Mátra, are discussing putting an end to coal use and installing renewable energy.
Barbara Botos, deputy secretary of state for climate at the innovation and technology ministry, told Climate Home News, “Electricity production based on lignite has no more long-term economic viability in Europe, due to the sky-rocketing ETS quota prices and also the lack of any available future support scheme for coal-based energy production.”
Botos went on to say that the government’s “preferred coal exit date” was 2030, although this has not yet been confirmed.
“Hungary intends to provide smart, clean and affordable energy for all,” Botos said.
Hungary relies less on coal than some of its central and eastern European neighbours, as climatechangenews.com reports. The country forms part of the Three Seas Initiative, which plans to host a climate policy cooperation summit this Thursday. One of Hungary’s neighbour countries, Slovakia, also uses less coal and in December 2017, it announced that it was considering putting coal-fired power and mining to an end in 2023.
If Hungary does indeed set an end date for coal, this would not only be considered a milestone for the country but would also allow it to form part of a growing group of western European countries aiming for exits by latest 2030. This group includes France, the UK, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.