Thanks to the measures taken by the government and the continuous storage since April, gas storage in Hungary has exceeded 90 percent. Adequate preparation lays the foundation for the safe supply of households and the smooth operation of the economy next winter, the Ministry of Energy (EM) announced on Monday.
Due to the energy crisis caused by the war, the EU regulation establishes a uniform mandatory charging rate for the member states with underground storage facilities by the first of November. Compared to this, Hungary, which has an outstanding storage capacity, already meets the level expected for the heating season in August – the ministry pointed out.
In a press release, the ministry recalled that the decree of the European Parliament and the Council adopted last summer due to the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine stipulated that underground gas storage facilities must be filled to at least 80 percent of their capacity by the start of the 2022-2023 winter period. Starting this year, the mandatory upload rate has uniformly increased to 90 percent with a deadline of November 1. Based on the average of the previous five years, different intermediate goals were also set for each country. In the case of Hungary, the provision set the third highest level of 86 percent by the first of September, they wrote.
In comparison, Hungary already reached the 90 percent rate expected for November in the summer. There are currently 5.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas available in domestic storage facilities. The amount stored so far is about one and a half times the stock available in the same period of the previous year. Due to the different storage capacities in the Member States, the comparison of consumption-related data better reflects the real situation. In the case of Hungary, the load ratio of over 56 percent belongs to the narrow European leader, twice the EU average – explained the EM.
Since the end of June, more natural gas has been available in the facilities than households used in 2021, the last full year before the international energy crisis. The current stock exceeds the annual level of residential consumption the year before by more than a third, the ministry indicated.
Despite the difficulties caused by the war and the sanctions, the Hungarian government will maintain electricity protection in the new electricity year, starting from the first of August, in the same form and with the same conditions. The unique measure ensures the lowest electricity and gas prices in Europe for Hungarian families. The protected state gas reserve and the additional stored stocks will guarantee the safe supply of households in the coming winter as well, and will greatly contribute to the smooth operation of the economy – emphasized the Ministry of Economy in its statement.