László Palkovics pointed out that the automotive industry has recently been hampered by a lack of various raw materials, while the energy situation has been complicated by the Russian-Ukrainian war. Therefore, all solutions are needed that can improve the energy problem, the Minister said at the inaugural ceremony of the ninth Technology Platform.
At the event, the Minister of Innovation and Technology gave a comprehensive and complex presentation on the government’s climate policy measures, stressing that Hungary was the first country in the region to enact climate neutrality into law. He pointed out that in recent years the Hungarian economy has managed to grow while emissions have fallen.
László Palkovics emphasized in his presentation that the setting up of battery development, production and recycling capabilities will be a strategic advantage in the future, which is why the Hungarian Battery Strategy was developed. He also spoke about the expansion of solar power capacity, the importance of hydrogen as an energy vector and storage, and greening transport. He said that the government will also extend the green bus programme to cities with a population of less than 25,000.
He also added that nuclear energy should be considered as a green energy source and confirmed that the government will build Paks 2.
Attila Steiner, state secretary responsible for Circular economy development, energy and climate policy at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, spoke about the circular economy-related obligations, strategies and subsidies.
Describing the funding opportunities for the 2021-27 EU cycle, he said that the Environment and Energy Efficiency Operational Programme has a budget of HUF 1,200 billion available in five main priorities. In addition, several resources of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) can be used to support the transition to a circular economy.
András Gelencsér, Rector of the University of Pannonia, pointed out that waste recycling is not only an important task from the environmental point of view. Recent events in world politics have also highlighted the need to deal with waste and the valuable resources it contains, he said.
The Rector also mentioned that the predecessor of the University of Pannonia was the first institution in Hungary to start environmental engineering training in 1973. Péter Ovádi, the MP for the governing party in the region, expressed his pride that Veszprém can be a university town. The University of Pannonia is a knowledge centre that will significantly shape the economy of the region, he said.
Tibor Navracsics, government commissioner responsible for the complex development of the Northwest Hungary Economic Development Zone, and Fidesz candidate for the Veszprém County constituency No.3, stressed that the North Transdanubian region, the European Capital of Culture programme and the University of Pannonia also have a stake in the success of the platform.
Zoltán Birkner, President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office and head of the platform, introduced the board, which includes representatives of consultancy, small and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture, industry, construction and digitalisation, large companies, chambers, local government and financial market organisations. He said that their working committees would be up and running by May, and by the end of the year they would be able to support the government with more material.
Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman and CEO of the Mol Group, said that today more than eighty percent of energy resources are tied to fossil fuels, which must be replaced in the future. One of the keys to the transition could be circular economy, he said. The primary objective of the Circular Economy Technology Platform – as a professional, consultative and advocacy forum – is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Hungary as one of the main keys to a sustainable future, in line with Hungarian and European strategies.