Central Europe's largest solar plant turning Hungary green
Qiwei Wang

More than two years after Hungary inaugurated the country's largest solar power plant near the southwestern city of Kaposvar. Its mayor said the project is not only supporting Hungary's climate goals, but also serving the interests of the local community.

The plant is the largest in Central Europe, four times bigger than the former number one in the country. China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) invested in it and the facility became operational in May 2021.


Drones to revolutionize farming

Chinese battery storage project helps balance UK's power supply

Can Europe go green without China?

CMC said that the project signifies a successful docking of China's 'Belt and Road Initiative' (BRI) with Hungary's 'Opening to the East' policy.

The mayor of Kaposvar, who encouraged CMC to invest in the area, saw the potential to achieve some of his city's key goals, including good jobs and high incomes.


Energy independence

"The other significant goals are making Kaposvar one of the healthiest cities in Hungary by 2030, and being energy independent by 2030. A 100-megawatt solar park serves the best interests of this community," said Karoly Szita, Mayor of Kaposvar.

Hungary joined the European Green Deal in 2019, and the country aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, reducing its carbon emissions by 95 percent compared to 1990 levels.

Chinese-built solar plant in Hungary supports the country's climate goals. /CGTN
Chinese-built solar plant in Hungary supports the country's climate goals. /CGTN

Chinese-built solar plant in Hungary supports the country's climate goals. /CGTN

"I like it here in Hungary. I really like my home with my family, and I don't really want to move. That's why I need a company that's stable," said Mate Fucsko, Electrical Engineer of CMC, who has a wife and two children. "It gives a good salary. I can feel good about my work and it just provides it all."


'New green future'

Janos Sulok started working for CMC in 2020, and he is now the site's operations and maintenance manager. He found his experience working with Chinese colleagues rewarding.

"Chinese culture is completely different from any others I have known before," said Sulok, "For me, it was a really positive experience, and we can learn from our Chinese colleagues. They're patient, hardworking, and they never complain."

And attitudes have developed as Hungarians and Chinese have got to know one another.

"Local people here have tried their best to support us, and they now have a better understanding of what we are doing," said Shen Zejun, Director of Finance of CMC Europe.

"Previously, maybe Chinese products left the impression of being cheap and low quality, but now in the renewable sector we have good quality Chinese products with an efficient production period. These all contribute to our new green future," added Shen.

This report is part of our documentary The Green Silk Road - Connecting Europe's Renewable Grid.  You can watch the whole story here.

Central Europe's largest solar plant turning Hungary green

Subscribe to Storyboard: A weekly newsletter bringing you the best of CGTN every Friday

Search Trends