If the energy crisis was not enough, Hungary’s second-largest power plant halted all operations. The Mátra Power Plant stopped working on Monday afternoon and since then has not restarted. The problem is worsened because the first block of the largest Paks Power Plant is still under maintenance. The lack of sunshine decreases solar energy production too. Therefore, energy imports in Hungary had soared to around 40 percent.
According to the data reported by Mavir, the manager of the electricity transmission system, the electricity output of the power plant started falling on Sunday morning — reported Portfolio.hu. The power plant had not reported anything since then about the incident. The last news we can find tells us about planned maintenance in July. Therefore, we can assume that this was not a planned shutdown.
The shutdown would not have been a problem if the maintenance of the Paks Power Plant would have been finished in time. It should have restarted right on the 26th of September, but there were delays in the process. Usually, the power plant’s electricity is about 2,000 MW, but now it is slightly below 1,400 MW.
The problem is further worsened by the lack of sunshine. The current output of solar power in Hungary is around 2,200 MW. However, due to the weather, the total solar power output is only 500 MW at noon. Accordingly, domestic electricity production could only cover about 3,200 MW out of the 5,300 MW consumption.
Currently, the country has to import around 40 percent of its electricity needs.
As the fight against climate change strengthened over the years, the Mátra Coal Power Plant gradually lost its significance. In 2008, it was still responsible for covering 16 percent of domestic consumption, while this fell to around 7 percent this year. But everything changed because of the energy crisis. The original plan was to cease lignite-based electricity production by 2025, but this was recently scraped. The new direction is to amplify lignite-based production by 2029.
To reduce Hungary’s natural gas dependency, the government set out to increase the production of the power plant and lignite mining. Even with reduced capacity, the Mátra power plant is still the greatest emitter of CO2. The plant alone is responsible for about 50 percent of all CO2 emissions in the energy sector. This means the plant provided 14 percent of Hungary’s greenhouse gas emissions in total.
Despite the immense contribution of the power plant to climate change, the current situation requires its further operation. It is now questionable whether Hungary could stop using coal and lignite by 2030 or not.
Source: Portfolio.hu, Mavir.hu