Hungary to launch 300 MW solar program for farmers

Hungary’s Prime Minister’s Office is currently discussing a new scheme, aimed at supporting the country’s farmers in installing medium-size solar power facilities, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Development, Ministry of Economy, the energy regulator ERGEG, and the Agriculture Chamber.

According to information provided to pv magazine by László Szabo, a senior researcher at the Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK, Hungary), details of the new scheme will be discussed by the end of February.

The scheme, which so far has only seen the report of a government discussion, envisages the deployment of 300 MW of PV capacity and, more specifically, of 600 solar power facilities with a capacity of 0.5 MW each. It will have a budget of 8 billion HUF ($31.7 million).

It is still unclear if the Hungarian government will provide incentives in the form of FITs, credit support or rebates. In the discussion related to the program, Szabo said, the government has cited unspecified credit instruments, without providing further details.

The 300 MW of capacity added through the new scheme will add to the 2 GW that is being developed through the FIT scheme. In November, the Hungarian government decided to grant a  one year grace period to all PV projects approved under the FIT scheme for solar (KÁT), which was closed in mid-2016. The new deadline to complete projects under the FIT scheme was the set for the end of 2018.

According to provisional estimates provided by Szabo in November, Hungary had reached around 270 MW of installed PV power at the end of 2016. The country still depends heavily on power imports for its electricity demand. In 2014, just 35% of the country’s power demand was met by domestic power generation facilities.

Hungary’s National Renewable Action Plan is aiming to cover 14.65% of its power demand with renewables by 2020.