Hungary wants end to coal power by 2030

(Climate Change News, 20 Nov 2018) ‘Sky-rocketing’ EU carbon prices could mean Hungary is the first country in eastern Europe to set an exit date for the most polluting fossil fuel.

Hungary is eyeing an end to coal-fired power generation by 2030, in a move that could shake the EU region most staunchly opposed to tougher climate change measures.

Fast rising prices in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) have pushed the government into talks with the owners of Hungary’s last big lignite power plant, Mátra, about phasing out coal use and installing clean and renewable energy.

“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,” Barbara Botos, deputy secretary of state for climate at the innovation and technology ministry, told Climate Home News.

Botos said the government’s “preferred coal exit date” was 2030, although this is not yet supported by an official decision or strategy.

“Hungary intends to provide smart, clean and affordable energy for all,” Botos said. The government is outlining a “positive and innovative” development plan based on low greenhouse gas emissions, she added.

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Climate Change News, 20 Nov 2018: Hungary wants end to coal power by 2030