hungary has taken a significant step towards promoting renewable energy -- its first wind power plant, located close to the River Danube, started operating recently. "This is a small, but a very important step for Hungary," said Balazs Stelczer, managing director of the First Hungarian Wind Power Plant Company (emszet), the firm that built the plant at a cost of some us $713,000. The plant is expected to produce around 1.2 million-kilowatt hours of energy a year, enough to cater to 750 families. "Its installation would also result in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1,700 tonnes a year," said Bela Glattfelder, political state secretary at the finance ministry. Renewable energy sources account for just three per cent of the country's energy output. This figure needs to be doubled in 10 years for Hungary to join the European Union (eu) by 2004. As per the recently-passed eu renewables directive, by 2010 members of the eu will have to generate 12 per cent of their gross energy output from renewable sources.
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