Renewable Energy and Climate Protection

Erneuerbare Energie & Klimaschutz "Made in Austria" © Klimafonds/Ringhofer

Austria is actively participating in the future of energy in Europe

In Austria every effort is  made to achieve a 34% rate of  renewable energy in the national energy mix (in line with European targets in 202)0. Data for 2014 show that a rate of already 33 percent of renewable energy has been achieved and Austria is on the right track. Renewable energies are bringing Austria closer to its climate protection targets but makes the country also less dependent on imports.

With a renewable share of 33% (2014) based on the gross final energy consumption, Austria ranks on top in Europe. In 2014, the use of renewable energy, avoided 28.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions. The data is even more impressive in EU comparison:

  • Third place in the share of renewable energies in gross domestic consumption,
  • Fourth place in the share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption according to the Renewable Directive 2009/28 / EC,
  • First place in the share of renewable energies in electricity generation and
  • Austria takes the first place in the generation of renewable energies measured on the country's terrirtory.

In 2014, the biggest contributions to the total volume of genereated renewable energy in Austria were achieved by hydropower with a share of 38.2%, solid biomass with 29.7% and the renewable share of district heating by 9.6%. Further large contributions came from the areas of energetically used leach with 6.8% and biofuels with 6.2%. The contributions of wind power, solar thermal energy, environmental warming, biogas, geothermal energy and photovoltaics totalled 9.4%

The long-term developments of the last 20 years in the field of energy supply in Austria are mainly characterized by:

  • A steady increase in energy consumption - temporarily interrupted by external factors (weather, economic situation, oil prices) - since 2005, however, substantial stabilization or stagnation,
  • Significant market share gains from renewable energy sources,
  • Improvements in energy efficiency (5th place within the EU at total energy intensity (gross domestic consumption as measured by real GDP) and
  • Steady growth in domestic energy production, mainly due to the promotion of renewable energies, especially since 2005

Based on the targeted promotion of local companies, the energy and environmental technology industry writes many success stories:

 © Ertex Solar

 © Isovoltaic 

 © Solid

Austrian companies for example are leaders in building-integrated photovoltaics and exhibit global references:

  • Austria is the world market leader in photovoltaik back sheets
  • Some of the world's largest Austrian projects for solar thermal and solar cooling have been successfully implemented (solar system for the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, Sheikh Zayed Learning Center, etc.)
  • 10% of all EU Smart City projects are based in Austria, etc

In 2015, Austrian companies generated sales of EUR 4.3 billion and employed 27,500 people in biomass, photovoltaics, solar thermal, heat pumps and wind power. These innovative Austrian technologies provided more than 56.5 terawatt hours of renewable energy and avoided climate-damaging emissions of 12.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

According to a study caried out by Vienna’s School of Ecnonomics in collaboration with Deloitte and Wien Energie 2015, Austrians are very positive about renewable energies. About 40% of Austrian households have installed renewable energies.