The ’Budapest – Solar Powered’ project is based on three urban challenges.

The first one is urban air pollution: in Hungary, air pollution is the 8th biggest health risk, closely followed by smoking, high blood pressure, poor diet and obesity. In Hungary, the number of people dying from diseases caused by small particles is estimated at around 10,000 per year. In Budapest alone, hundreds of premature deaths are specifically linked to air pollution every year.

The second challenge is the changing trends in energy use (such as the need for cooling during increasingly frequent and intense heat waves, the spread of digitalisation or even teleworking) and the accelerating electrification of urban mobility. The continuous development of the city’s electricity network to meet changing needs is a challenge for the system operator, and the location and maintenance of network infrastructure requires space in an already densely populated area of the city.

The third major challenge is the current low uptake of renewable energy sources. Increasing this share is a priority objective in urban development plans, the Budapest Environmental Programme and the Budapest Climate Strategy.

Solar energy is the most accesible renewable energy source in the urbant context. The Budapest – Solar Powered project therefore concentrates on the city’s solar potential. The aim of the work is to explore ways of promoting and supporting the uptake of solar panels. The project also explores administrative and legal barriers, technical as well as economic issues, and social and community attitudes and involvement.