Hungary announces plans to reduce dependence on Russian gas

BUDAPEST, June 6 — PRIME. Hungary plans to reduce its dependence on Russian gas and reduce the share of gas in the heating of the country until 2030, it is planned to allocate investments in the amount of 16 billion euros for these purposes, Minister of Technology and Industry Laszlo Palkovic said at a conference on sustainable development.

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“Natural gas accounts for 35-40% of final energy consumption. The task is to reduce the share of gas heating for the population and the state … Hungary’s goal is to reduce dependence on Russian energy imports and, as a result, achieve independence,” MTI quoted Palkovich as saying.

According to him, “the consumption of natural gas in Hungary can be significantly reduced by 2030 with the adoption of a set of appropriate measures, but this can only be achieved in parallel with significant electrification.” The minister noted that the investment plan envisages spending 16 billion euros to achieve these goals.

In July, the Hungarian government declared a state of emergency in the energy sector, which includes a package of seven measures: increasing the country’s gas production from 1.5 to 2 billion cubic meters, finding more than 700 million cubic meters of additional gas to fill storage facilities, a ban on the export of energy and firewood, increase in coal production, accelerate the restart of blocks of the Matra coal-fired power plant, extend the life of the Paks nuclear power plant and cut the preferential program of utility bills.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban later said the country was developing a “stove and boiler” program to replace gas heating wherever possible, particularly in schools. Orban said forestry enterprises have also been tasked with learning how to harvest more firewood. The Ministry of Agriculture of the country reported to RIA Novosti that in autumn the forestries will start harvesting timber according to new plans, adapted to the conditions of increased demand.

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