Neither wind energy production nor EU climate policy raised market prices for natural gas or electricity, claim PhD economists Enikő Kácsor, András Mezősi and László Szabó from Corvinus University’s Regional Energy Economic Research Center (REKK) in Budapest.
By the end of 2021, the price of natural gas had increased more than ten times, while coal was four times higher compared to January 2020. In addition, the carbon dioxide quota had tripled during this period, and the price of electricity on the Hungarian stock exchange was four and a half times higher.
However, the REKK researchers cite a slowdown in Russian gas deliveries, which Moscow began even before the start of the war, as the primary and most important factor in the rise in gas prices. At the same time, they believe that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine will prevent prices from going back down.
Among reasons for higher natural gas and electricity prices are the post-Covid economic boom, increased global demand for liquefied natural gas, and the shutdown of gas extraction in the Dutch gas fields due to man-made earthquakes, the group noted.
Although the research institute did not directly criticize the Orbán government in its study, except in relation to the utility price cut policy, its findings appear to refute some of the main theories by the Fidesz government as to why energy prices have increased so much, particularly in regards to the European ETS carbon dioxide quota exchange system and the decrease in production by wind farms. [Népszava]