The Hungarian-German industrial cooperation is excellent without conflicting matters and on the most crucial area, in automotive industry the uncertainty characterising the past years has disappeared, László Palkovics Minister of Innovation and Technology said in Berlin following his meeting on Friday with Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany.

Speaking to the public media, László Palkovics pointed out that the Hungarian automotive production relying on the German automotive industry played an important role in the 5-percent increase in GDP last year and we can “look forward optimistically to the future” in this a sector.

Supported by German politics, the German automotive industry has made the decisions necessary to remove the uncertainties associated with diesel engines and other matters arising in the past years and “took a clear path” in that “what should be the car of the future be like”, the Minister remarked.

Thus, key decisions were made on what should drivetrains be like, and what additional propulsion technologies to use in addition to combustion engines. Decisions were made on a series of other questions such as the development of autonomous vehicles.

Through all these, a “simpler task is to come: the work has to be done, we have to work”, and both the Germans and the Hungarians are equally good at that, László Palkovics asserted.

He disclosed that a series of other matters of industrial politics were discussed, including, among others, the ways of jointly finding solutions to how to apply industrial digitalization, namely the achievement of Industry 4.0 to the small and medium-sized enterprise sector with support from corporations and the European Union.

Of the energy policy issues, the Minister underlined that the interconnection of grids to the greatest extent possible is crucial for the strengthening of the security of supply. As he said he was pleased to accept his German colleague’s request for Hungary to be the organiser again of the Central European conference in the matter. The conference will be held in June with the participation of Germany, Austria and other states in the region in addition to the Visegrád countries (Czechia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia).

The agenda of the meeting had many other energy-related matters with setting up a hydrogen economy among them. In connection with this, the Minister explained that hydrogen can serve as an intermediate energy storage capacity, fuel and a component of synthetic fuels, and that both, Hungary and Germany are working on elaborating their respective hydrogen strategy.

This work will be completed by this October and a joint working group will consult the German and Hungarian strategy, László Palkovics said.

With Peter Altmaier, they also conferred about another solution for energy storage, namely accumulators. They found that Germany and Hungary have the largest accumulator producing capacity in Europe and developments must continue in this field too as the current chemical-based batteries will be expedient to replace by new ones with lower environmental impact which will require new manufacturing and recycling technologies.

The Minister pointed out that Hungary and Germany have differing views on nuclear energy. Germany derecognises and gradually gives up the use of nuclear energy, while Hungary continues to consider it a very important element of its energy policy.

Nevertheless, there is a series of issues of common interest and it is very important to maintain, for Europe, all the knowledge that Germany accumulated, for example, in the field of nuclear energy research and the operation of the power plants. Therefore, the two governments are going to launch a process to review what should be continued to be operated in Hungary to maintain this knowledge, László Palkovics said.