Publications / Research Papers
Is it a history of a successful market opening? Liberalization in the Hungarian electricity sectorBudapest Management Review - scholarly articlesPublished: 28 of November, 2019

From the 2000’s until today, much has changed on the Hungarian electricity wholesale market. In this article the authors present an overview of market liberalisation efforts of the past 15 years across different market segments (supply side, trade); how and when barriers were eliminated and conditions of real wholesale market competition emerged in the Hungarian power market. The efficiency of market opening is evaluated according to different areas including development of investments and prices, role of imports and, in connection with the latter, security of supply. Unbundling and privatisation was key for creating the proper market structure as the basis of liberalization. The new power market laws (in 2001 and 2008) and the abolishment of LTCs in 2008 were important factors to facilitate competition. Access to import capacities also played a key role. A major element in market opening was the establishment of the Hungarien Power Exchange (HUPX), bringing transparent price signals for Hungarian and Balkan market participants. Though Hungary has come a long way towards regional market integration (mainly through market couplings), a significant spread still remains between Hungarian and (the reference) German power prices.

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