20 Dec

Hungary supports the acceleration of the permit-granting process of renewable energy, but simultaneously opposes the extension of the measures related to the gas price cap and the joint gas purchase, the State Secretary for Energy and Climate Policy of the Ministry of Energy stated in Brussels on Tuesday.

Attila Steiner told MTI during a break in the meeting of EU energy ministers that Hungary supports the extension of the measure allowing for the accelerated approval of wind and solar power projects, in order to allow for the quickest possible allocation of funds and the implementation of the projects.

In the context of the European Commission's proposal to extend the €180 per megawatt-hour gas cap introduced in February, in view of the geopolitical situation and fearing a winter increase in gas prices, Attila Steiner said that Hungary does not support the extension of the measure. Hungary considers this a kind of sanction measure, the application of which could trigger a very bad reaction from the Russian side. It could even lead to retaliatory measures, he warned.

The State Secretary underlined that Hungary does not support the extension of the transitional measure on the joint EU gas purchase, which expires at the end of the year. The measures make it compulsory to provide relevant information to disseminate a notification relating to new gas contracts, and to permit the European Commission a say in the process. Hungary does not want this, he stressed.

The Hungarian government also opposes the EU's so-called gas solidarity measure. This means that if a neighbouring Member State needs gas urgently, gas must be sold immediately at a spot market price, regardless of the price at which the country providing the aid has stored it previously.

"We believe it would be fair to bail out a neighbouring Member State at the price at which the gas was purchased," said Attila Steiner.

The State Secretary also reported that the Hungarian measure on the reduction of utility bills is "constantly under attack from different directions", and that they want to see it withdrawn. Under the proposed legislation, the only way to maintain the cuts would be for the European Commission to declare an EU state of emergency, he explained. Hungary said this violated Member States' rights, and such a measure should be be taken under national competence.

"These cuts are working well, we have the resources. We are very determined to maintain the measure," he said.

Finally, Attila Steiner said that Hungary is well prepared for the winter, with gas storage capacity at around 90 percent. In terms of consumption, Hungary has stored much more gas than the EU average, he said. This means that Hungary's gas supply security for the winter season is guaranteed, the Energy Ministry's State Secretary for Energy and Climate Policy added.

Source: MTI - Hungarian News Agency