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Austria

Official Name:
Republic of Austria

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Government/Ministry
Name:
Ms. Doerthe Kunellis
Phone:
+43 1 51522 1637
Emails:
doerthe.kunellis@bmlfuw.gv.at

Energy profile

Austria (2013)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

Austria occupies a central position in the EU electricity network and is connected to all of its neighbouring countries, with the exception of the Slovak Republic.

Renewable energy potential

SolarSolar thermal power has been heavily supported at state level for decades and, alongside Greece, Austria is one of the countries with the highest square meterage of collectors per head of population. Wind EnergyAlthough Austria is a landlocked country with a distinguished hilly topography, meteorological preconditions permit the utilization of wind power. First calculations on the basis of wind measuring data assessed at the meteorological stations in the early 1980s rendered the result of annually approx. 6,600 to 10,000 gigawatt-hour (GWh) of technically exploitable wind energy potential in Austria. Biomass Austria has intensively utilised the biomass available to it, thanks to its extensive forests, and has even been doing so since before the Industrial Revolution. In terms of domestic heating, this “old” form of biomass was still very much in use up to the 1980s and 1990s and was also responsible for the relatively high percentage of renewable energy generated in Austria. This form of biomass that was often used for heating in multi-purpose furnaces in the home has since been massively overtaken in almost every region of Austria by the intensive expansion of natural gas networks and gas heating systems. This development was more pronounced up to the start of the new millennium than the development of “new” biomass, such as the use of wood pellet-based district heating systems. BiogasThe estimated total biogas potential per year lies between 265 and 414 million m3. With an average consumption of 1.200 nm3 per vehicle per annum a total amount of 345,000 vehicles could run on biogas in Austria. In comparison to that 4,600 vehicles were driving on natural gas in Austria in 2009. If energy crops and animal manure potential is considered, the total theoretical biogas potential amounts to 2.47 billion m3. If entire biogas potential would be used for transportation sector, 27% of conventional fuels could be replaced through biomethane. HydroA significant proportion of electricity generated in Austria has traditionally come from (large scale) hydroelectric power stations. For over a century, this form of energy has been used for economic reasons and also because of its local availability in the Alpine region that is abundant in water and, especially after the Second World War, also along the River Danube. In the 1990s, it already constituted over 70% of total electricity production. Due to rising fossil fuel prices since then, and the resulting higher electricity prices in Europe, the production of electricity from new large-scale hydroelectric power plants in Austria once again became economically attractive to the now more liberalised European electricity market.

Energy framework

RES-EThe key policy instrument at the national level to support RES-E is the Austrian Green Electricity Act (Ökostromgesetz). After its adoption in 2002, finely tuned feed-in tariffs caused a particularly strong deployment of wind energy, biomass and biogas. After a decline of support levels and further modifications (i.e. budget restrictions and reduced guaranteed duration of support) in recent years, the development of new RES-E projects in Austria had almost stopped. As a consequence, on September 23rd, 2009, the federal parliament passed an extensive amendment which included several improvements, notably longer support periods, adjusted tariffs and slightly increased and technology independent overall budget. These changes have recently stimulated capacity additions especially in wind and hydro power and biomass plants. RES-H&CIn Austria, national support policy for RES-H&C projects is provided by the Environmental Support Act (Umwelförderungsgesetz), which promotes RES mainly in the form of investment grants. It has recently been revised and a new extended support structure has been effective since October 1st 2009. This national regulation addresses commercial entities, non-profit organizations, public institutions and utilities. Private households receive investment grants for RES-H&C projects at the provincial level. From a financial point of view and also with regard to the observed effectiveness, these programs clearly represent the main promotion scheme for RES-H in Austria. RES-TIn Austria, RES in the transport sector are mainly supported in the form of biofuels. The support strategy is twofold. On the one hand, minimum blending obligations guarantee market access for biogenic products and, on the other hand, tax incentives provide financial support for biofuel production. The Resource Efficiency Action Plan (REAP)The Resource Efficiency Action Plan (REAP) was published in early 2012 by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management. It is an ongoing process and entails a multi-stakeholder partnership approach to achieving increased resource efficiency in Austria. Its overall objectives are to reduce the environmental impacts of resource consumption to create new markets, export opportunities and green jobs and to support the economy and industry in designing innovative and sustainable technologies, products and services. The REAP provides an analysis of recent resource efficiency trends and sets medium and long term national targets for increased resource efficiency. By 2020, resource consumption should be fully decoupled from economy growth, and resource efficiency should be increased by at least 50% compared with 2008.  As a long-term goal (2050) has been set to accomplish a 4/10 gain in resource efficiency.  In order to achieve these medium and long-term goals, REAP includes a short term implementation programme (2012-13), which focuses on four main “action fields”: i) resource-efficient production, ii) public procurement, iii) a closed loop economy and iv) raising awareness, in particular identifying specific measures of sustainable consumption and production, and identifying measures of the cascading use of natural resources. All renewable electricity generation technologies are eligible for the Austrian feed-in tariff. In contrast to the tariff, subsidies are available for small and medium-sized hydro-electric power stations only.Feed-in tariff. In Austria, electricity from renewable sources is supported mainly through a feed-in tariff, which is set out in the ÖSG 2012 and the regulations related thereto. The operators of renewable energy plants are entitled against the government purchasing agency, the so-called Ökostromabwicklungsstelle (hereinafter called "Clearing and Settlement Agency"), to the conclusion of a contract on the purchase of the electricity they produce ("obligation to enter into a contract"). Subsidy I. The construction of small and medium-sized hydro-electric power stations is subsidised by investment grants. The legal basis of these grants is the ÖSG 2012 in conjunction with the applicable subsidy directive. Subsidy II. Additionally to the feed-in tariff, an investment subsidy is granted for PV installations on buildings exceeding 5 kW. Subsidy III. Furthermore, subsidies are granted for small PV installations with a maximum capacity of 5 kW.

Source
Static Source:
  • Clean Energy Info Portal: reegle (Website)

    Type: 
    Publication

    This database provides global information on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change, including country energy profiles, a list of key global stakeholders, policy and regulatory overviews, an energy and climate change glossary, a clean energy Web search, geobrowsing features, and a clean energy blog.

  • Country Energy Profiles (Website)

    Type: 
    Publication

    This reegle website provides comprehensive energy profiles for all countries with information from reliable sources such as UN or the World Bank. Profile information includes national policies on energy-related issues, visualized statistics, renewable energy potentials maps, national projects programmes, and key stakeholders.

  • Greening Household Behaviour: The Role of Public Policy

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:

    This report evaluated the role of public policy in encouraging conservation in a residential setting. It interprets the results of an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey sent to over 10,000 households within the OECD area on home water use, energy use, personal transport choices, organic food consumption, and waste generation and recycling. Analysis of the responses offers insight into the market, demographic, and policy factors that actually influence people’s environmental behaviour and consumption patterns.

  • Summary of Country Reports Submitted to the Energy Efficiency Working Party

    Type: 
    Publication
    Summary of Country Reports Submitted to the Energy Efficiency Working Party
    Publication date:

    This summary document provides an overview of energy efficiency policies and planning across all sectors in International Energy Agency (IEA) member countries. It contains an overview of changes in policy context by country, as well as updated data on energy consumption and intensity. The majority is devoted to summarizing significant policy developments in the following sectors: buildings; transport, lighting, and appliances; public sector; and industry and energy management.

  • Building Energy Efficiency Policies (BEEP) Database

    Type: 
    Publication

    This database is intended to be a comprehensive collection of building energy efficiency policies from select countries around the world. Policymakers can access this database to find out what policies and incentive schemes are being implemented around the world. The three focus areas of the database are building energy codes, building energy labels, and incentive schemes.

  • Global Building Performance Network's Policy Comparative Tool

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:

    This website allows users to examine building codes and their efficacy from around the world. Detailed information about each of the building codes and its country's deployment programs is offered along with a graphing and data-generating program that makes additional analysis possible.

  • Effects of Feedback on Residential Electricity Demand: Findings from a Field Trial in Austria

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:

    This paper analyzes the effects of providing feedback on electricity consumption in a field trial involving more than 1,500 households in Linz, Austria. Results from cross section, ordinary least squares (OLS) regression suggest that feedback provided to the pilot group corresponds with electricity savings of approximately 4.5% for the average household.

  • Special Eurobarometer 409: Climate Change

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:

    This survey report provides measures on perceptions of climate change in relation to other world problems and perceptions of its seriousness, as well as opinions on who within the EU is responsible for tackling climate change.

  • Second Progress Report on the Promotion and Use of Energy from Renewable Sources

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:

    Article 22 of Directive 2009/28/EC on Renewable requires Member States to submit report every two years to the European Commission (EC) on progress in the promotion and use of energy from renewable. This, the second edition of the report, describes the overall renewable energy policy developments in each Member State and its compliance with the measures set out in the directive and the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of each Member State. Member States' progress reports are posted in their original language as they are received.