Austria Votes For 100% Renewable Energy Scenario For 2030

Austrian Parliament Clears Renewable Expansion Law EAG, Placing Country On Path To Achieve 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030, With Solar PV Contributing 11 TWh; PV Austria Hopes For Clarifications

Austria Votes For 100% Renewable Energy Scenario For 2030

Under its NECP, Austria said it wants to have 9.72 GW of solar power capacity by 2030, but now through the EAG it wants to expand the same to 12.4 GW by the end of the decade. Till the end of 2020, according to PV Austria, the country had installed over 2 GW solar, however ORF said the number was 1.4 GW.

  • Austria’s Parliament has approved the EAG that sets a 100% renewable electricity target for the country for 2030
  • It carves out the largest share for solar PV technology with 11 TWh additional generation capacity to be achieved
  • This would translate into 12.4 GW of cumulative PV capacity by 2030, according to local media
  • The EAG needs to be discussed by Austria’s Federal Council and later cleared by the European Commission

Austria has just added its name to the growing list of European nations embracing renewable energy wholeheartedly, with an eye on a clean energy future for its denizens, after the country’s parliament passed the Renewable Expansion Law (EAG) with 2/3rd majority. However, unlike its peers, it sets the country on path to achieve a 100% renewable electricity system already by 2030.

Austrian State Secretary Magnus Brunner pointed out the importance of this development saying, “We would be the 1st in Europe to do without fossil and nuclear power.” Nonetheless, to be put into action the EAG needs to be passed in the Federal Council (Upper chamber) on July 14, 2021 and then notified by the European Commission, explained the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT).

Of more than 27 TWh of new renewable energy capacity sought by the government under EAG by 2030, solar PV technology gets the largest share of 11 TWh, reflecting a 7-fold increase from current installed PV capacity. At the end of 2020, Austria’s total installed solar PV capacity was over 2 GW, according to PV Austria. The 11 TWh target for solar is what solar lobby group PV Austria has been demanding (see Austria Installed 341 MW New Solar In 2020).

To be specific, the Austrian national public service broadcaste Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) reported this would translate into 12.4 GW total capacity for solar PV by 2030, up from 1.4 GW it had at the end of 2020, citing BMVIT as a source. It would be well above 9.72 GW the country has pledged under its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) to the European Commission.

Solar PV’s share is followed by wind power with 10 TWh, hydropower with 5 TWh, and biomass with 1 TWh target. Altogether the addition of 27 TWh will be an increase of 50% to the existing renewable energy output of the country at 55.6 TWh.

The Federal Association of Photovoltaic Austria (PV Austria) has welcomed the EAG expansion counting the fact that it would allow for larger solar PV projects to be implemented, among other friendly measures. However, PV Austria CEO Herbert Paierl pointed out that it remains to be seen if the EAG will succeed in increasing the currently installed PV capacity 7-fold by 2030 since the corresponding accompanying ordinances and funding guidelines of the EAG need to be drawn up in the next few weeks or months.

Nonetheless, Brunner called the EAG—with its €1 billion annual expenditure on renewable energy for the next decade—as the largest energy package in decades, ‘may be even of all time’ as it would mobilize an investment volume of €30 billion flowing into the country.

Some of the salient features of the EAG are listed on PV Austria’s website.

The EAG has been in the making for quite some time now and the draft was under assessment since September 2020 (see Austria Presents Draft Renewable Expansion Law).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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