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Solar power plants: a new plan has been released so they can join the grid in the future

According to the wording of the regulation to be introduced, it refers specifically to the establishment of non-renewable regulatory capacity (so-called FRR capability or reserve; more on this in this article), and while only potential fossil fuel power plants are the possibility of using a battery energy storage device is not yet clear. The latter technology would theoretically also be able to provide this type of regulatory capacity, but is currently virtually unsuitable under current regulations.

Thus, there is still uncertainty among stakeholders about the interpretation of the draft, but there is also an interpretation that this would mean that a 1 MW solar power plant, for example, could only be built in the future if a 300 kW gas-fired power plant were built next to it.

As previously reported, the assessment of distribution system operators and the transmission system operator published in early May shows that there is currently no free, tenderable network connection capacity in the electricity system for the construction of new power plants and no new weather-dependent power plant capacity can be accepted.

The reason for the network connection stop and the planned new requirement for the installation of regulatory capacity is that it has been calculated that the network and regulatory energy capacities have essentially reached the limit up to which the security of the electricity system can be guaranteed.

According to the network operators, the announcement does not mean stopping the development of domestic green energy production, but the industry sees it differently.

According to a joint open letter to the Minister of Technology and Industry László Palkovics, the renewable energy industry organizations were shocked by the documents of the electricity industry showing zero free capacity, which, among other things, wanted to know exactly what background calculations led to the above result. Until our article was published, there was no response to the letter of May 20th.

There are a number of other solutions to the regulatory challenge posed by solar power plants, which may have a smaller positive effect on their own, but which can be felt in the relatively short term, such as the rapid deregulation of solar power plants. According to industry, the introduction of these developments would have a good chance of avoiding drastic measures such as the one above. Although the planned introduction and speed of the rules can be justified in some respects by renewable energy producers, they are not acceptable to them without substantive industry consultation, where a substantive examination of causes and alternatives would be discussed, especially in the longer term.

The sector is confident that decision-makers will reduce the current uncertainty of the outlook by publishing a timetable that includes the expected concrete developments and the size of the new network connection capacities that will result.

Cover image: Getty Images

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