E.On has received permission to build a EUR 400 million power plant in the Gönyű on the Danube after a series of delays.

All necessary permits for the German utilities giant’s plant have been obtained work can start in November, according to Zoltán Katona, managing director of E.On’s power plant unit in Hungary.

Fourteen months of delays came because more than the usual number of permits were required, including one from Slovakia’s Environment Ministry, he said.

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The gas-fired 433 MW plant will generate about 2 billion kWh of electricity annually.

The Austrian company Wien Energie has opened a 22 megawatt wind farm near the northwest village of Lével, six kilometres from the Austrian border.

A dozen 100-metre-high German REpower wind turbines with a rotor span of 85 metres should provide electricity to 15,000 Hungarian and 21,600 Austrian households. The new wind farm brings Wien Energie’s total wind-powered generating capacity of 66.5 MW.

Europe leads the world in harnessing wind power as a sustainable source of electricity. According to the Germany-based World Wind Energy Association, 61% of global capacity is in Europe.

Germany leads the way with 22,247 MW (as of January 1), followed by Spain with 15,145 MW and Denmark with 3,125 MW. Hungary had a capacity of about 65 MW at the end of 2007, but in all countries use is increasing to varying degrees.

Global wind power increased from 74.2 to 93.9 gigawatts in 2007, rising to over 1% of global electricity production. A little over 56.5 GW of this was in Europe. The WWEA predicts that global production will rise to 170 gigawatts by 2010.

Minister of Transport, Telecommunication and Energy, Pál Szabó said at an energy conference last Thursday that the life prolongation of the power plant in Paks is taken care of, but since it’s not a final solution, a decision needs to be made about the future of the country’s nuclear energy policy as soon as possible.

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