that sales of air conditioners in the first three weeks of June have
increased tenfold in its Hungarian stores compared to last year. Last
week, a report in the daily Népszabadság warned that the country’s
national grid is close to overload because of a massive surge in
climate control equipment.
power. Although in theory Hungary has a maximum generating capacity of
around 8,000 MW, reserve capacity fell to below 600 MW last week as
demand exceeded 6,000 MW. This suggests that the load from climate
control units has been markedly higher than the expected 60 MW.
running the national grid, is clearly concerned as air conditioners –
advertised on billboards around the city for as little as HUF 50,000
(EUR 203) – are still flying out of shops all over the country and
indications are that the heatwave will continue throughout the summer.
company discussed how to address the problem. According to the
Népszabadság report, the option of making long-talked-about
improvements to the Dunamenti Power Station on the Danube just south of
Budapest was raised and rejected.
production capacity at the gas- and oil-fired power plant from 1,736 MW
to 1,951 MW. Also discussed was the option of restricting lower cost
“night electricity” services on very hot days.
announced a tender for the supply of additional electricity in the
summer months. It is probable that this will involve the purchase of
power from abroad. Mavir Head András Vinkovits said short-term measures
could increase electricity prices by a few percent, but expensive new
power plants could lead push electricity bills up by 10-15%. While
action plans are discussed, observers have noted that the power crisis
could deepen as the hot summer rolls on.