Hungary will cooperate with Iran on setting up a small nuclear reactor for scientific-educational purposes, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff told a news conference on Thursday.
Some 5,000 organized crime groups are active in Europe, with more than one-third of the rings involved in illicit drug trade, the EU law enforcement agency Europol said in a large-scale report Thursday.
Drug trade generates 24 billion euros (25 billion dollars) in profits every year.
The groups are also engaged in counterfeiting currency, migrant smuggling, arms trafficking and an array of cybercrime, including child sexual exploitation and bank fraud.
THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s top Brexit negotiator has said Britain could face a £500billion (€600bn) Brexit divorce bill – ten times the figure initially expected.
Late last year it was widely reported Eurocrats were planning on slapping the UK with a £50billion (€60billion) exit bill as punishment for voting to abandon Brussels in the June referendum.
The EU defended the demand as it argued Britain had unpaid budget commitments, pension liabilities and loan guarantees to honour.
A Russia-backed Libyan warlord could start a “civil war” in Libya, increasing refugee flows to the EU, Malta has warned.
The danger comes as the Libyan commander, Khalifa Haftar, advances on Tripoli, the seat of the UN-recognised government, Malta’s foreign minister, George Vella, told press in Valletta on Friday (12 January).
Corruption or “mutyi”- a term recently popularised by the Hungarian media – is no longer considered an outstanding phenomenon in Hungary. With a silent consent of the Hungarian society, bribery became a part of everyday life during the soft dictatorship of the Kádár-era; people still pay additional sums to receive better service in hospitals or faster administration in offices.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban insisted Thursday the migrant crisis was a German problem, not a European one as he defended his government’s handling of thousands of refugees flooding into his country.
“The problem is not a European problem, the problem is a German problem,” Orban told a press conference with European Parliament President Martin Schulz in Brussels.
“Nobody wants to stay in Hungary, neither in Slovakia, nor Poland, nor Estonia. All want to go to Germany. Our job is just to register them.”
Orban’s comments came as hundreds of refugees and migrants stormed a train at Budapest’s reopened main international railway station, which has become a flashpoint for people trying to head to western Europe via Hungary.
“We have clear cut regulations at the European level. German Chancellor (Angela Merkel) … said yesterday that nobody could leave Hungary without being registered,” he added.
“If the German chancellor insists that we register them, we will, it is a must.”
Orban has taken a consistently hard line on the migrant crisis engulfing Europe, refusing to accept an EU plan for compulsory quotas for asylum seekers and building a razor wire fence along the border with Serbia in a bid to halt the influx.
The fence has done little to stem the flow and Hungary remains a key arrival point for tens of thousands of migrants entering the European Union, with some 50,000 arriving in the country in August alone.
Orban was due to hold talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and with EU president Donald Tusk, who warned earlier Thursday that divisions between EU member states threatened to scupper efforts to find a common response.
Schulz also warned that the 28 member states had to act as one.
“The European idea is of solidarity; what we see at the moment is egoism and to my mind, this is a real threat to the EU,” he said.
Wind and solar will claim cost leadership in Europe, according to a new study.
A new study suggests that wind and solar plants are already competing economically with fossil fuel in Europe. Soon, even household rooftop solar PV systems will generate electricity more cheaply than coal.
The study from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems says the cost of rooftop solar in the southern parts of Germany is already as cheap as €0.08 per kilowatt-hour. Even in northern Germany, where there is little sun, solar can be generated at €0.14 kilowatt-hour, half the cost of grid-based electricity.
By 2030, the study says, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from rooftop solar PV will have fallen to around €0.06 per kilowatt-hour. In sunnier regions, such as Australia, the Middle East, southern Europe and the western U.S., not to mention Africa and Latin America, the cost of solar will be lower still, at around €0.043 per kilowatt-hour.
The study claims onshore wind in Germany is already between €0.05 per kilowatt-hour and €0.11 per kilowatt-hour, a figure that is unlikely to fall further. Fuel costs for fossil fuel plants, however, are likely to rise.
“Even small, roof-installed PV systems will be able to compete with onshore wind, and also with the higher generation costs in the future from brown coal, hard coal and combined-cycle gas power plants,” Fraunhofer ISE Director Eicke Weber said in the report.
Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems
He says it is clear that wind and solar will “win the race toward cost leadership” with coal and gas. Although offshore wind has higher costs, it also has more hours at full load operation. The higher costs for biomass systems are balanced by their controllability.
The implications of this are obvious. Having households that are able to produce electricity at the same cost of coal — not including the network, distribution, and retail costs that are added to centralized generation — is likely to dramatically change the business metrics of the utilities industry.
Fraunhofer says the availability of wind and sunshine is not the only variable in the costs of energy. Financing costs and risk premiums for new power plants can also affect the results substantially.
“Only by including these factors in our study are we able to realistically compare the levelized cost of electricity from the different technologies and thus convincingly present the cost-competitiveness of renewables.”
That means that project risk and financing costs may cause solar projects in African countries, for instance, to cost more than elsewhere. The U.S. and Australia, however, will be able to combine excellent solar resources and low financing costs.
The study said offshore wind technology still shows a large potential for cost reductions, whereas onshore wind has nearly reached its limit. Levelized electricity generation costs from biogas, widely deployed in Germany, is dependent on load and fuel type, and ranges from €0.14 to €0.22 per kilowatt-hour. Estimates for the cost of electricity from brown coal presently extends up to €0.053 per kilowatt-hour, from hard coal up to €0.08 per kilowatt-hour, and from combined-cycle gas power plants up to €0.098 per kilowatt-hour, respectively.
In the Middle East, considered to be the next big market in solar, oil-fired power plants show generation costs in the range of €0.13 to €0.17 per kilowatt-hour, compared to PV with an LCOE of around €0.08 per kilowatt-hour.