Hungary, historically one of Europe's biggest coal consumers, is seeking to expand its solar installed capacity, Sun Investment Group (SIG) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Hungary wants to increase solar panels from 500 megawatts (MW) to 30,000 MW by 2022, making the country a magnet for solar investors.
With the EU raising the prices of lignite as way of reducing greenhouse gases and it its fight against climate change via European Union’s emissions trading system (ETS), the Hungarian government has taken the decision to turn towards renewables as its principle power source.
The country subsequently announced it aims to phase out its use of coal and be fully reliant on renewable energy sources by 2030.
"Hungary, along with neighboring Poland, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria, is one of the EU’s most coal-dependent member states - in 2016, it sourced 18 percent of its electricity from coal, 50 percent from nuclear, and 20 percent from gas," the SIG's statement said.
At present, lignite produces 14 percent of Hungary’s carbon dioxide emissions and half of the pollution of the entire country’s energy sector.
SIG stated the Hungarian government believes that a predicted price drop of up to 30 percent in photovoltaics gives the country the opportunity to meet the EU's energy directives.
"EU states that all 28 members within the bloc must source 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020," SIG stated.
The Sun Investment Group already has a 15 percent stronghold on Poland’s solar energy market and hold the biggest solar PV portfolio in the country.
By Gulsen Cagatay