The renewable energy market in Austria: Full of possibilities!
Austria has long been at the forefront of energy transition
While the target of 20% renewable energy in final energy consumption, set by the Brussels Directive 2009/28/EC for the European Union, will probably not be reached in 2020, some Member States are well ahead of the game. Among them, Austria is a virtuous pupil in the production of non-fossil energy in Europe. But this country has also developed a real "Green Business" model in which PLANET SOAR is present.
Why did the Austrians start their energy transition 20 years ahead of schedule?
In 1978, in a referendum consultation, the Austrian people voted in favour of renouncing atomic energy. And this choice was also the starting point for a necessary energy transition in this country. The abandonment of nuclear power meant that it was necessary to replace it very quickly with energy sources that Austrian companies would be able to produce in order to preserve the energy independence of the former Eastern kingdom. As Austria has no fossil resources, it naturally focused all its efforts on renewable energies. Having been a pioneer in the production of hydroelectric power since the 19th century, the country has continued its efforts in this field. But this alternative source alone was not enough. The Austrian Länder have therefore all embarked on a search for other alternatives and have not hesitated to invest massively in the development of biomass, wind power or, more recently, solar energy.
Austria and renewable energies in 2020
42 years later, the share of green energy consumption in total energy consumption in Austria is over 30%. Austria has even become the leading European country in terms of the share of renewable energy devoted to electricity production alone. The 20% target set by Europe for 2020 has therefore been largely exceeded. And Austrians even seem determined to cover all their energy consumption in the near future by doing without fossil fuels altogether. The project could seem utopian if it were not based on concrete achievements. Since 2015, the Land of Lower Austria, which has 1.7 million inhabitants, has been providing 100% of its electricity needs using a mix of renewable energy sources consisting of hydraulic, biomass, wind and solar power. And it is perhaps on voltaic technologies that the country will now accelerate its investments. Indeed, to compensate for a lower level of sunshine than the countries of Southern Europe, Austria has been able to develop a very high level of technical expertise in the field of solar thermal energy. The country initially invested massively in the construction of an industrial sector which is today one of the world leaders. But it has also devoted considerable resources to the training of specialised installers. The combination of these efforts has enabled the Austrians to become more competitive and to reduce the cost of a "smart grid" installation by 30% compared with other European countries, for example.
The renewable energy market in Austria: an opportunity for all players in the energy transition
The formidable potential of the Austrian renewable energy market cannot leave the "Green Business" players indifferent. We are convinced that Austria will meet its 100% renewable energy target and that it can be a global model for energy transition and an inspiration for many countries. Austria's strategies for achieving energy independence are already receiving a lot of attention from its European neighbours. In addition, international cooperation is needed to address the challenges of global warming. Beyond the opportunities that Austria could offer to investors with "green projects", this country could also become a large-scale laboratory for experimenting with know-how.