A New Era For Wind Energy Investments In Hungary

Taylor Wessing PartG mbB


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As of 1 January 2024, the Hungarian government has greatly eased the legal conditions for the installation of wind turbines in order to increase the use of green energy.
Hungary Energy and Natural Resources
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As of 1 January 2024, the Hungarian government has greatly eased the legal conditions for the installation of wind turbines in order to increase the use of green energy.

1. Safety distance regulations

According to the new legislative framework, the prescribed safety distance (which is the distance between wind energy installations and inhabited or other affected areas) is reduced from 12 kilometres to 700 meters, aligning with European practices.
An exception is made for industrial economic areas and other industrial economic areas where an investment has been or is being made which is considered to be of particular importance for the national economy, as it is possible to locate a wind turbine or wind farm within the 700-metre safety distance in these areas.
Wind turbines may not be built outside the protection zone in the area of national ecological network and arable land with high-quality soil conditions, in the zone of special landscape protection interest and landscape protection area and in the area of World Heritage and sites nominated for World Heritage.

2.Simplified areas

The Hungarian government may designate simplified areas (in these priority areas, the conducting of the authorisation procedures may be facilitated) in locations where

  • wind energy intensity at a height of 150 meters exceeds 500 watts per square meter or
  • the wind turbine or wind farm already has a valid consolidated small power plant permit and a grid connection agreement.

The designation of simplified areas may entail simplified and expedited authorisation, with an administrative deadline of up to 50 days in the environmental and construction authorisation procedure for a weather-dependent renewable energy power plant.

This provision is favourable for the replacement and upgrading of older, more obsolete wind turbines, which is significant for the reasons that everything is already available at these points, and the easiest option for developing wind power generation capacity is to replace existing older wind turbines with more modern ones.

3. Permitting procedures

Furthermore, the former existing tendering requirements have been abolished by the legislative amendment and the restrictions on the number of official permits that can be issued for wind power plants and wind farms and the permissible total capacity are no longer determined.
An additional amendment to the previous regulatory environment is that the local municipality may identify in its local building regulations an area for the installation of wind turbines and wind farms where the general building height limit of 100 metres is not applicable, thereby benefiting investors.

4. Expected impact of the new legislation

As a weather-dependent renewable energy source, wind turbines and wind farms can usefully complement the booming domestic solar energy generation in Hungary. The National Energy and Climate Plan under review foresees a tripling of the current wind capacity of around 330 megawatts by 2030.

As of now, many - mainly solar - power plant licensees, are waiting to be connected to the grid, due to the ongoing solar park boom in Hungary, so the construction of wind farms and the restarting of the wind energy sector that will result from the positive regulatory change may take a couple of years.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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