• Austria has proposed draft EAG that aims for 100% renewable electricity for the country by 2030
  • Solar has a big role to play in it as out of 27 TWh additional renewable energy capacity proposed for 2030, solar’s share is 11 TWh
  • 1 million solar roofs will be central to achieving the solar PV target for the country
  • Draft is open to comments and feedback till October 28, 2020, according to the Climate Protection Ministry

Austria aims to go 100% renewable energy powered in its electricity system by 2030 and has proposed the target officially in its draft Renewable Expansion Law (EAG) that’s now being assessed. The country’s Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) calls it the largest law in the energy sector for decades creating opportunities for citizens and companies to participate.

Some of the key features proposed in the draft include the following:

  • It proposes a legal framework for the energy transition of Austria to enable it to achieve a climate neutral status by 2040.
  • Renewable energy generation should increase by 27 TWh by 2030, with solar PV accounting for 11 TWh, wind power 10 TWh, hydropower by 5 TWh and biomass by 1 TWh.
  • Rooftop solar systems for 1 million roofs called the 1 million roofs program to be central to achieving solar target.
  • Subsidy for renewables will end, there will be reduced tariff for network usage and community energy systems to be exempted from paying electricity tax.
  • Grid connection for solar PV systems below 20 kW is made simple which is a plus point since it would encourage rooftop solar adoption.
  • A central funding agency will be responsible for all funding for renewable energy deployments. Funding will be offered through subsidies on capital investment and market premiums which will come by selling electricity generated in the market.

“The energy transition is the decisive tool on the way to climate neutrality. This law is also a central engine for jobs and the economy. We will trigger up to €30 billion in investments in Austria and at the same time save around 10 million tonnes of CO2,” added Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler.

Currently, the installed capacity of solar PV generates 1.7 TWh per year in Austria, according to the Federal Association of Photovoltaic Austria (PV Austria). While the association welcomes the draft, it believes there is still scope for improvement and also it needs to ensure the final law is adjusted with federal and state laws to ensure uniform implementation.

“The coming weeks must be used for the final corrections to the law, so that Austria can use it as an opportunity to have a completely renewable electricity supply,” said Herbert Paierl, Chairman of the Board of PV Austria.

The EAG draft is available for review and feedback on the ministry’s website and responses can be submitted till October 28, 2020.

Back in April 2018, the country had proposed to adopt a target of deploying 100,000 rooftop solar systems under a draft plan called #mission2030 (see Austria Proposes 100,000 Solar Roofs Program).