Former President of Hungary, János Áder, talked about the above issue during his podcast, Blue Planet. The new block of the power plant at Paks could save over 4.5 million cubic metres of gas in a year. In the most recent episode of the podcast, Áder talked to Zsolt Hárfás, an expert on nuclear energy. Hárfás emphasised that many green politicians are wrong about the effectiveness of solar and wind power plants. He said that it is wrong to assume that such plants could provide all the energy the country needs. Hárfás explained that solar and wind plants are dependent on the weather, and are not capable of storing huge amounts of energy; thus, nuclear plants are needed because they can provide electrical energy ‘day and night, in summer and winter’.
The expert also mentioned that every country needs a source of energy that can be permanently provided, regardless of the circumstances. He took Germany as an example, where solar and wind power plants have a capacity of over 140 thousand megawatts; however, currently they only have 20–25 thousand available to use. Therefore, his opinion is that every country needs nuclear or coal-based power plants. In Germany, the energy crisis is so critical that they often need to import it from France, while also controlling the energy usage of the people.
Every country needs nuclear or coal-based power plants
János Áder talked about the goals set in the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. He explained that currently Hungary is further from completing them than it was at the point of signing the treaty. He posed the question if the goals are at all reachable without nuclear energy. In response, Hárfás said that every nation should strive to cut back on fossil-fuel based energy, and should focus on more climate friendly alternatives, such as nuclear and renewable sources. He also mentioned that nuclear power is the most climate friendly energy in the world, since nuclear plants produce six grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt, while a solar plant can reach up to 83 grams.
Many countries on the planet are building new nuclear plants or expanding their current ones
Hárfás also explained that both renewable and nuclear power plants are needed, in order for every country to be able to reach a healthy “energy mix” that guarantees the safety of constant energy production and considers the pros and cons of each and every energy source. He emphasised that many countries on the planet are building new nuclear plants or expanding their current ones. He added that the plant at Paks is working safely and has an undeniable effect on the economy – last year it provided almost fifty per cent of the energy used by households.
In conclusion, the expert claims that upgrading and expanding the Paks power plant could save a huge amount of energy. Especially so considering that gas is getting scarcer since the Ukrainian-Russian war. If the expansion of Paks is built, the relatively low energy prices of Hungary are safe and sustainable.