Russian-Hungarian agreement concerning atomic energy: What will Putin and Orbán sign tomorrow?

It was again Magyar Nemzet that first came out with a short news item heralding Viktor Orbán’s forthcoming “diplomatic offensive.” The paper’s guess was that the move was in some way connected to the election campaign. The prime minister is supposed to visit Russia, China, and several other, mostly Arab countries.

I didn’t find Magyar Nemzet‘s explanation for this diplomatic onslaught terribly convincing because I’m sure Viktor Orbán still remembers his mistake during the election campaign in 2002 when he decided not to dirty his hands with campaigning but instead showed himself as the real statesman hard at work. And he lost the election.

The pro-government paper did mention, with reference to his Russian trip tomorrow, that “Viktor Orbán may sign an agreement about the continuation of the existing cooperation between the two countries concerning atomic energy matters.” It added that “the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant” might also be discussed.

Népszabadság learned more about the plans from Fidesz sources. The paper reminded its readers of János Lázár’s announcement about the “advanced negotiations” concerning the enlargement of Paks’s capacity, which would double the output of the power plant. The government claims that this addition to the existing facilities would lower utility prices. The opponents of the plan claim the opposite: prices would rise because of the high cost of expanding Paks. Indeed, this particular investment will be costly. Experts talk about 3-4 trillion forints, which naturally Hungary doesn’t have. But that’s not the only problem. In her present financial situation, Hungary can’t even borrow that much money because it would upset the precarious balance the government achieved as far as the deficit is concerned. But it seems that thanks to the “good offices” of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation the Hungarian partner may be able to pay the cost of the investment on the “installment plan.” Originally, even Orbán was talking about an international tender, but none of the other companies that are in the atomic power plant business was ready to be so generous. Of course, this generosity has its price which might take several forms: joint ownership, profit sharing, and various other business arrangements.

Paks Aromic Power Plant /www.sff.hu

Paks Atomic Power Plant /www.sff.hu

Not surprisingly it was the politicians of Párbeszéd Magyarországért (PM/Dialogue for Hungary) who were the first to raise their voices against the plan because these politicians are committed to the idea of green energy. They objected, with good reason, to the secrecy with which these negotiations were conducted. They raised objections to making such a momentous and controversial decision without any public discussion or any consultation with independent experts. Why the hurry? Is Viktor Orbán afraid that he might not win the election and does he therefore want to push the decision through his parliamentary voting machine prior to April or May? Benedek Jávor, co-chair of PM, declared that he and his party consider any agreement arrived at in Moscow without parliamentary authorization null and void. Such a momentous decision cannot be the private domain of the prime minister. It is not only a very expensive undertaking, but the planned arrangement also puts Hungary at the mercy of Putin’s Russia.

The government’s answer to the critics was lame. András Giró-Szász, the government spokesman, declared that it would have been impolite to refuse an invitation from Putin. This explanation is utterly ridiculous. As if Putin one morning woke up, had a burning desire to meet Viktor Orbán again, and out of the blue dropped an invitation in his mailbox. Giró-Szász, perhaps realizing the absurdity of his first claim, added that “after all, it is very important to take a look at the past year’s economic results.” As if they had anything to do with the matter at hand.

Today we learned that Gordon Bajnai (Együtt-2014) and Benedek Jávor (PM) jointly wrote an open letter to Viktor Orbán in which they pointed out that the expansion of Paks would determine the country’s energy policies for the next sixty years and therefore such a decision cannot be sanctioned without a public debate and without parliamentary authorization. They demanded immediate information about any negotiations and decisions.

A couple of hours later Bajnai and Jávor got an answer: “yes, there will be a bilateral agreement” signed in Moscow. The Government Information Center pointed out that the government has been studying the possibilities of the use of atomic energy. A year ago Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán discussed questions of cooperation at the time of Orbán’s visit to Moscow. An agreement was reached in December. After the prime minister’s return from Moscow the government will inform the public about the details.

Thus, we don’t know more about the agreement than before. Obviously Viktor Orbán can make the decision, whatever that decision is, alone. The “people” this government talks so much about have no business questioning the wise man’s decision. He knows what is good for the people. Another case of Hungarian democracy at work.

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44 comments

  1. “Népszabadság learned more about the plans from Fidesz sources. ”

    Do we believe that such sources exist? Earlier I got the impression from the blog that it is very unlikely that even the MSZP leaks to the press (on the discussion about the likeliness of the Róna and Surányi PM nomination). If all of MSZP, Együtt etc does not leak why would Fidesz people leak to out of all the papers, Népszabadság? What motivation would they have for secretly talking to the paper they see as part of the “enemy”?

  2. “…they pointed out that the expansion of Paks would determine the country’s energy policies for the next sixty years..”

    And this momentous decision is to be made…alone, and in secrecy, by the same man who, on no good reason that we can fathom, released the Azeri axe-wielder.

    Moreover, it would be interesting to hear how Orban the Viktor would resolve the seeming contradiction of his past statement that Hungary…”ought not to be another barrack in Russia”, with this new agreement which will put the country at the mercy of Russia for many years to come.

    Have any of the vaunted reporters of Hungary bothered to ask Orban that question?

  3. Since Hungary does not need more electric power, I surmise that Orban expects that the “greens” of Europe, like Germany will be longing for more electricity, and Hungary will satisfy their needs from nuclear energy.

    What if the new industries do not require so much energy, and nobody wants the Hungarian surplus?

    In this case, Orban will have just added another 25% of the GDP (calculate with 7.5 trillion forints) to the national debt by his miscalculation!

  4. The reason for the rush to make this decision before the elctions is multi-pronged and politically motivated.

    Firstly, Orban likes to appear in firm and full control. He is in that position today. He wants to be appreciated as a brother – a full fledged member of the Great Dictators’ Elite Association. Not only for the sake of negotiations (the latter is not one of his stronger aspects) but as a means of fully enjoying the pinnacle of power he has reached. Achieveing goals in appearance is of utmost importance to him.

    Secondly Orbán, by nature, is unsure of hismelf, (dont let him fool you) and he does not yet know how he’s going to fare after the elections, escpecially whether or not he will be able to retain his 2/3 parliamentary commanding position.

    Thirdly he wants to put the badge of the new Nuclear Power Plant on his lapel, which will certainly assure his mark for 60+ more years, even outlasting his own lifetime.

    Fourthly, preceding election time, prime ministers like to have cozy meetings with the most powerful leaders. Its a sign that he belongs withinin the top cirlce of leaders and wields money and influence. Its also in the interest of Putin to catering to Orban’s needs as the project is of considerable value to Russia both financially and in terms of influence opening up a dialogue with a former partner in arms and meddling into the EU comfort zone.

    Fifth, a contract arranged by Orban and Co can be made to bring heretofore unseen enormous profits to the Stable of Orban and his cronies.

    Sixth, and this is not of any lesser importance, is the fact that the Russian government wiould be a far more secretive entity than any Western government or private Nuclear Power Plant Manufacturer. And that would protect the existance of the billions of dollars of harded cash by the Orbanite Clan from Leakers like Wiki’s, Assanges, Private Mannings or Snowdens.

    (Just remember the case of Ivo Sanader the Croatian President convicted of mighty curruption charges in selling INA the Croation oil mega-corporation to the Hungarian MOL, or the stories of corruption that brought down the President/CEO of German Siemens Co. or the Gripen affair in the Czech Republic and its related Austrian connection – an affair that may still hold a sabre over the heads of some Hungarian officials yet to be named…)

    So there are a number of very good reasons Orban is having public and private meetings with Putyin.

    Noone should underestimate the ‘talent’ or Obán in such very ‘useful’ matters to his Clan.

  5. Some info on the Czech power plant which has also been in preparation:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkanellos/2013/12/06/czech-project-shows-why-nuclear-power-is-fading-away/

    Electricity prices must — under the current investment plans (which are surely set to double by completion) — double. Until completion there is surely at least 10-15 years until which time solar power will be much-much cheaper.

    And note that these financial calculations never, ever include the cost of dismantling the power plant, if it is possible at all.

    The waste will have to be stored until eternity which is not calculated either (and a storage place built, even though under previous agreements the Russians took away the waste back to Russia) and what happens with the actual power plant buildings?

    Anyway, this Orban-Putin agreement, is a private agreement worth some 3,000-6,000 billion forints is the crime of the century, if not of the millenium.

    Hungary will be extra indebted to Russia to the tune of 6,000 bn forints by the end, because take-or-pay (you pay regardless of whether you take over the electricity or not, whether you need it or not) paying for decades such high price for unwanted electricity is just as much a debt service as paying interest on treasury bonds, only in this case the principal will have been squandered on unnecessary capital expenditures.

    But Andy is right, it is inconceivable that any other producer/supplier would ever get a deal like that in Hungary, not even the Koreans because they are under US influence. Currently there is only one country that may defy the West (US) and it is Russia, even the Chinese are too dependent on the US for their exports and investments (it was clear from the Snowden case). As a result Orban or any other future government for that matter will forgo any option that would have the potential to end up like the Gripen, Sanader etc. cases. With Russia you can always deal smartly, too bad there is always a price to pay, but it is rarely political. I mean try to imagine Mesterhazy, who will be dependent on “szoci” advisers (obviously in the hands of the Russians and/or Hungarian construction companies, with Laci Puch in the background pushing for his protegee to deliver) and will have to deal with Putin, oh, my. So the big question is whether there will be a deal or not, because if there will be, it will be for the Russians to do, end of story. Any other communication is just a delaying tactics intended to appease the potentially interested parties.

    Orban surmises that no future government will be able to terminate his agreement because (i) that would upset the Russians who will threaten international suits (at least) for their lost profits on the deal and (ii) the amounts are so unimaginably huge and will go on forever that all political parties will want their shares, of course most will go to Közgép (after all they brought the deal), but smaller amounts to other construction companies (likely with the quality they build the highways).

    The other point to note is that Orban, by signing this agreement, grew up to his admired Putin. Just like Putin, Orban can sign anything, can dispose over anything that is in Hungary. He alone is the sole decider, the sovereign. Nobody can and will stop him or punish him. He is untouchable just like Putin. He reached to the top. He delivered on his promise to himself to be powerful.

  6. Let me list a few things and see if a picture emerges:

    –MOL is run by Gazprom
    –MOL wanted to take over INA in Croatia and allegedly paid a bribe of 10 million euros to Sanader
    –When the CEO of MOL was called to appear in Croatia, Orban refused to allow him claiming that the government’s 25% share made MOL a “strategic industry” of the country
    –a former KGB agent finds his true calling in life, first as a Gazprom executive and then as a banker in Hungary; he becomes (presto!) a billionaire and immediately moves to the sunny
    confines of Felcsut to establish his residence
    –Armenia, little more than a Russian proxy, must stand by as Orban releases the Azeri
    axe specialist; in turn, Azerbaizan kills any possibility of providing oil to Russia’s main pipeline competitor (Azbucco), and also signs a multi-billion contract with Russia

    –and the beat goes on…

  7. Oh, and yes, this little anomaly:
    OTP shows that most of its annual profit last year came from sister banks in Russia; but (shazam!) two of Russia’s largest banks immediately set up shop in Budapest!

    (Students of Matolcsy perhaps…?)

  8. Petöfi:

    Gazprom never ran MOL. It is common knowledge among those who follow MOL on the Budapest Stock Exchange that about 50% of the shares outstanding are held by ‘friendly’ investors, who hold such shares because MOL pays them. In other words, MOL, or rather MOL’s management anyway controlled 50% prior to Szurgut’s investment, as it still probably does in one way or another. Szurgut’s cca. 25% never was a real control issue but it could have escalated into a political issue between the respective governments plus Orban decided that he needed the shares to gain more effective control over MOL’s management and thereby over other parts of the Hungarian energy sector. For example, MOL had gas storage facilities and surprise-surprise MOL took the government’s offer and sold them to the Hungarian state. Was it worth it? We will never know (neither re MOL, nor re the state). Also Orban is now in a better position with respect to the long-term natural gas supply agreement which Orban now desperately wants to re-conclude. The problem is that there is no way Orban or his advisers can be smart about it.

    Nobody knows energy better than Russia does and nobody negotiates better than Russia does. Since Orban needs results soon, as he wants to cut gas prices before April, Russia knows he (meaning the Hungarians) can be taken advantage of. There is no price too high which Orban would not pay, because such payment would be in the future, while the elections will be held now (most likely Orban’s people would not even realize the true costs, especially if Paks II would be involved, as Paks II is an open-ended project any issue can be settled via that deal alone).

    It is a fact to be noted that Hungary’s gas consumption has been rapidly falling: climate is getting significantly and noticeably warmer so there is less need for heating. This fall season is probably – again – breaking new records. Electricity, the generation of which is another significant use of the natural gas, is, given Orban’s mandated energy prices, now cheaper to be imported than to be generated from Russian gas (plus Hungary uses less and less electricity in the first place due to various factors). As a result, Hungary these days uses some 40% less natural gas than it did 5 years ago and the trend is clear. There are just so many constantly changing factors regarding natural gas/energy consumption than he (us) will inevitably will lose on any new deal.

    Another point to note is that Gazprom, just as with oil sold by the major Russian oil companies, does not sell directly. You agree with Gazprom or Surgut, but you conclude actual private legal agreements with shell companies, special purpose vehicles, trading companies with unknown shareholders, mind you, everybody does that, that is entirely normal and everything is, or at least seems legal. The only problem is that we will never really know who will get to be a new middle man: Simicska, Orban, or Nyerges.

  9. Party list:
    ———-
    MSzP 43
    E14+PM 8
    DK 6
    LP 3

    1.Mesterházy Attila, MSzP
    2.Bajnai Gordon, E14
    3 Gyurcsány Ferenc, DK
    4 Fodor Gábor, LP
    5.Szabó Tímea, PM

    Individual districts:
    ———————–
    MSzP 71
    E14+Pm 22
    DK 13, including Kuncze

  10. Yes total MSZP dominance just as I predicted. As I pointed out earlier the biggest loser is Együtt 2014, which previously held 31 individual districts and had a party list expected to gain 10% of the votes or more. Now they only have 8 out of 60 on the party list and only 22 individual districts (of which they only had a few really winnables, now a lot of those are going to DK, such as district V. where Juhász was the candidate – they pumped a ton of money into his campaign already). Együtt suffered another blow today, with Klára Ungár declaring that their agreement with Együtt is now “null and void” because of the new developments.

  11. “Együtt suffered another blow today, with Klára Ungár declaring that their agreement with Együtt is now “null and void” because of the new developments.”

    Someone has a sense of humor here. Klara Ungar, right. Now I wouldn’t be in the place of Együtt.

    btw given the new new election system, the figures seem to imply a current working assumption of 8-10% popularity (party list-wise) for Együtt, and 5-7% for DK. Which is more or less in line with polls, in other words, no assumption of any hidden reserves seems obvious, although I guess should the popularity prove to be bigger, the actual yields could increase under this plan.

  12. Oh, and do not forget that Jobbik wholeheartedly supports not only building new nuclera plants (Jobbik supports the building of Bős-Nagymaros too), but especially that Paks II’ should be awarded to the Russians. The Russians have a pretty good working relationship with Jobbik, although this fact is not really advertised. I mean what’s no to like for Jobbik in Putin’s Russia, especially if the Russians are so generous fund raising-wise.

  13. Not often I find myself in agreement with András Schiffer, but have to concur with him that this formation should be called “Együtt 2006”. I have no problem with Bajnai or Tímea Szabó, but anyone who thinks that nos 1, 3 and 4 on this list is going to attract the very people who voted them soundly out of office in 2010 needs a reality check.

    Orbán’s reelection is guaranteed which is a tragedy.

  14. What I’m interested the most is how did Fodor manage to whore himself to the fourth place. What on earth did he have to offer?

    Now we’ll see if individual popularity of the parties add up. For all I know, all my previously enthusiastic Együtt 2014 supporter friends are announcing one after each other on Facebook that they are now members of the ‘without party’ category. Whether they will eventually vote back or not is a different question, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if they just stayed at home.

  15. tappanch :
    Party list:
    ———-
    MSzP 43
    E14+PM 8
    DK 6
    LP 3
    1.Mesterházy Attila, MSzP
    2.Bajnai Gordon, E14
    3 Gyurcsány Ferenc, DK
    4 Fodor Gábor, LP
    5.Szabó Tímea, PM
    Individual districts:
    ———————–
    MSzP 71
    E14+Pm 22
    DK 13, including Kuncze

    Interesting. Thanks tappanch.

    Could you expand a little on this please? For instance, based on current opinion polls (and assuming the minor parties all get at least 5%), how many seats would the combined left get from the party list? And, do we know any more about who’s got what districts? If so, how many are reasonably safe seats for the left, and for which party?

    Thanks in advance.

  16. @Mr.Paul, The losses of E14 were predictable given the party’s support that is no greater than DK’s. Actually they received more places than they deserved given their standing.

  17. @Phiuk, I agree with you. Ungár’s withdrawal is certainly not a blow. I like her, although I don’t agree with her political ideas but her support converges on zero.

  18. “They raised objections to making such a momentous and controversial decision without any public discussion or any consultation with independent experts.”

    Much as I support this, it’s hardly going to make any difference. What Orbán wants, Parliament gives him. He is effectively President (in the real sense).

  19. Orban is moving eastwards.He has found inspiration in Putin’s conservatism, state-directed economics and authoritarianism.That’s the future in Orban’s opinion, and the past since it resembles Kadar’s period.

  20. Eva S. Balogh :
    @Jano, I’m also absolutely astonished about Fodor’s most likely undeserved success.

    Eva,
    Here start the president!
    Watch from 12th min!

  21. From the white marble rooms to the golden rooms…..Full Video: Vladimir Putin’s presidential inauguration ceremony in Kremlin

  22. Zdravstvujte tovarishchi – they did not change it to gospoda!

    Soviet Union + Orthodox Church = Russia 🙂

  23. I watched Mesterhazy/Gyurcsany/Fordor on Olga. They were fine. I did, however, found it odd that Fodor kept re-iterating “Liberal” at every opportunity. Why? Couldn’t Bokros with his conservative party be invited to join the “Union Of Anti-Orban” forces? I don’t see why not. As well, I’d like to see Bekesi have some role here. The whole group should be together on stage, together, hammering home continually the idea that Orban will take the country out of the EU, and THAT, more than anything, will mean the end of an independent Hungary…

  24. Atomic reactor arithmetic:

    THe French are building a reactor in Finland. The original cost was 3.5 billion, the actual estimate now stands at 8 billion.

    http://nuclear-news.net/2012/12/14/costs-of-finlands-olkiluoto-nuclear-reactor-go-up-yet-again/

    Since the initial estimate for Paks 2 is 10-12 billion euros, it is safe to assume a final cost of 25 billion euros.

    Paks 1 produces 0.1 billion in profit a year.

    Paks 2 will have a planned life of 60 years, so it might give 6 billion euros of profit during its entire life.

    Suppose Russia gives an interest-free loan save inflation.

    Then Hungary’s net loss is 19 billion euros, i.e. 0.3 billion euros a year from 2024 to 2084.

  25. Ovidiu :
    Orban is moving eastwards.He has found inspiration in Putin’s conservatism, state-directed economics and authoritarianism.That’s the future in Orban’s opinion, and the past since it resembles Kadar’s period.

    So far it sounds just wonderful, it’s the perfect place to him!
    The problem is that he will come back.

    Shouldn’t it happened, btw, that he gets the Parliamentary Approval prior to signing an agreement, or it applies only in democracies, so it wasn’t necessary in this case?

  26. THe comments are also hilarious for the Orban tissue for sale.

    It is like an Örkény one-minute story.

  27. I think I can explain why they had to take Fodor. Gyurcsány was inredibly successful by attacking the previous agreement and pointing out it was exclusionary and not a “complete cooperation”. They didn’t want to leave Fodor’s people out and have the next three months go by with them attacking the agreement from the outside. Repeating many of the same arguments and situations that already happened. Even considering that Fodor is not really a factor, why risk this situation so close to the elections? They can be shut up for the cheap price of 3 seats on the common list?

  28. Re Fodor. Fodor pretty well made it clear that if they don’t put him and a couple of other people on the list then he will run alone. Blackmail, I think. He claims that his party has 2% but I saw no such figure anywhere.

  29. Eva S. Balogh :
    Re Fodor. Fodor pretty well made it clear that if they don’t put him and a couple of other people on the list then he will run alone. Blackmail, I think. He claims that his party has 2% but I saw no such figure anywhere.

    Why blackmail? What’s wrong with Fodor? Shouldn’t the idea be that ALL opposition (and this should include Bokros) is lined up against Orban?

    What’s more, they should do their damnest to get Angyan to join as well.

  30. The ‘best’ thing with Paks II is that in 10 years (maybe in 3-4) solar panels will be so cheap that everybody can install them and use them. As a result, people (less people as population will decrease) will use much less electricity from the national grid.

    Note that the costs are not fixed either. If the 3,000 bn limit is not enough (80% of which is covered by debt, but since Hungary will continue to run deficits the 20% will also be effectively financed from debt) then it’s too bad, we will finish it no matter what.

    In the end this will be a 6,000 bn project and the life-time loss will be way higher then what anybody now estimates. In addition, from now on nobody will invest in building any new power plants of any kind because they will surely not able to sell the energy (of course the price regulation is also too bad for that). It will not be needed.

    This agreement is a seppuku for Hungary. But whoever will come to power will want to continue with it. After all, its free money, debt, which can be spent, which is good for politics (but payment will continue when Orban and SImicske will be long gone). Hungary’s debt rating will decrease further (or it will not improve) since this will increase the debt to gdp ratio way over 100% in the coming two decades.

    Note that previously consistently 30% was the planned Hungarian input portion, now it is 40%. Technologically nothing changed, we will make the same parts (Közgép and friends will build concrete stuff, but obviously we cannot produce more advanced parts), only our part from the budget increased, in other words the budget was increased to satisfy Simicska and other constituents.

    Forget any real, sustainable growth or catching up to the West for the foreseeable future in Hungary.

  31. Putin is a good president! :

    Eva S. Balogh :
    @Jano, I’m also absolutely astonished about Fodor’s most likely undeserved success.

    Eva,
    Here start the president!
    Watch from 12th min!

    Bloody hell! It’s a good job he’s fit, I’d have been knackered after all those stairs.

    I’ve never been one for all the ridiculous pomp we go through for our state occasions in the UK, but now I see why it’s necessary – all that for one little man in a suit just doesn’t seem right! He’d have looked much better in a big dress and a crown.

  32. Re Paks – I simply don’t understand why a country that has so much sunshine (winter as well as summer) AND thermal energy needs nuclear power in the second half of the 21st century.

    And if the thermal and solar power wasn’t enough, they could always utilise the rivers. A hydro scheme on the Duna would be nice – say just around the Danube Bend, between Hungary and Slovakia. That would have a nice irony to it.

  33. From a purely engineering point of view, I have to disagree with those who think that growing use of solar energy will make the increased need for nuclear (or other conventional) energy obsolete. The peak requirement for energy is in the evening, when solar energy is somewhere else. Economically feasible way of storing energy to solve this problem has not been found yet.

    This does not mean that I endorse the way this and most other things are handled by the FIDESz Government.

  34. Paul: hydro does not work in Hungary. That is why dams are being promoted as important because of navigability (to make highway out of Danube), protection from floods etc. but not because of the energy. There is no way investment can have any meaningful return given the geography, but rest assured that the cement and construction industry would do anything to build Bős and even other dams. The two dams on the Tisza support my case.

    Remember that since there is no slope as Hungary is a plainland (unlike Austria), there is minimal energy to be gained. It is a complete no-go, but there are so many people who would gain by building, the idea emerges from time to time.

  35. In fact now that it seems that we will build Paks II and for that we will need a lot of extra cooling water (which comes from the Danube) and the discharge from the Danube due to the climate change has been steadily decreasing and becoming more volatile the idea to build new dams will soon emerge. Given that Bős was a huge rendszerváltó issue and MSZP lost in 1998 partly because Horn concluded an agreement with the Slovaks to build Nagymaros-dam, the dam idea has been off-limits to politics (except for Jobbik which just recently said that it supports three dams on the Danube, not just Nagymaros, but two others as well). As the Bős-Nagymaros issue gets slowly forgotten, I expect that it will turn out that there is an ‘engineering necessity’ to build them, or whatever it will be. It could another bonanza. Note that with Paks II, Közgép and some other well-connected companies will continue to be on a roll for decades and will continue to meddle into politics. Oligarchs are here to stay.

  36. What Hungary should explore and utilize more is the geothermic energy, one of the few of natural resources what we actually have.
    As much as I know it even works at night, so alternating with the solar could make a difference.
    Otherwise there are solar powerplants already, not only individual solutions possible.
    But, of course, there won’t be a sizeable kickback as added bonus in the picture, as opposed with the present case, let alone, it won’t go to the same pockets.
    Well, life is hard of a Hungarian PM, the poor man must do all the heavy lifting alone… Not surpisingly feels he lonly on the top, as he mentioned the other day.
    It still beats the solitary confinement, though…

  37. anap :
    Paul: hydro does not work in Hungary. That is why dams are being promoted as important because of navigability (to make highway out of Danube), protection from floods etc. but not because of the energy. There is no way investment can have any meaningful return given the geography, but rest assured that the cement and construction industry would do anything to build Bős and even other dams. The two dams on the Tisza support my case.
    Remember that since there is no slope as Hungary is a plainland (unlike Austria), there is minimal energy to be gained. It is a complete no-go, but there are so many people who would gain by building, the idea emerges from time to time.

    anap – my tongue was firmly in my cheek!

  38. Actually, there are examples all over of Europe, when local – say on communal or/and municipal level – people unite in a wind- or sol-powered energy cooperatives, and its working usually. Usually these are the “on grid” solutions, they produce electricity, and they sell the excess to the supplier – usually they get better off at the end.
    While this method is working, it produces only small amount of income to the state (except VAT and income related taxes) it usually significantly lowers the cost of energy to the participants, even on community level.

    Stone me, but I totally convinced, that the future of the energy consumption lays in the hands of the individuals – on the way of installing low voltage lightning and appliances and individual – mostly solar powered – additional, or even main power sources, or in the way of organise and participate in community-level self powered energy supplies.
    Of the amount of money involved in the new nuclear project, the whole country could have been supported to install such solutions, I am convinced. (OK, I am guessing here, but I’m open for a debate, every factual argument accepted!)

    Of course, it would in effect cross the expectance of personal bonus to a given PM, it would only benefit to the people.
    So sad, really, that a good project should go haywire of personal reasons, but that’s life today in Orbanistan, get used to it children…

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