Hungarian electricity consumption hits new record in 2018

Electricity consumption in Hungary rose by 0.8 percent in 2018 to a new record level and on one day in June the country's electricity import was above its domestic production, news portal Origo writes.

According to preliminary data by national power distributor MAVIR, Hungarain electricity consumption in 2018 rose to 45.52 TWh (terawatt hour) from 45.06 TWH in 2017. In addition, domestic electricity production fell by 3.5 percent to 31.07 TWh, meaning that domestic production only covered 68.4 percent of the country's needs.

Domestic consumption also hit two temporary records this year. The first was in June, when consumption was 6,342 MW (megawatt), of which domestic production could only supply less than half, meaning that the remaining 53.8 percent had to be covered from import.

The next, 6,869 MW peak came on December 19th, as a combined result of end-of-year rush in the manufacturing industry, cold weather and festive illumination for the Christmas period.

The author of the article - electrical engineer and electricity issues blogger Zsolt Hárfás - said the data is a clear indication that Hungary is in dire need of increasing the capacity of its only nuclear plant, Paks in order to ensure the secure electricity supply of the country.

Hungary signed a deal with Russia in January 2014 to increase the current 2,000 MW capacity of Paks - situated some 100 km south of Budapest - by 120 percent, adding two 1,200 MW blocks to the existing four. The current nuclear plant was built be the Soviet Union between 1969 and 1987. The capacity expansion will cost EUR 12 billion (US$13.83 billion)

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