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Wind power in Austria

Renewable energy policy in Austria exists on three levels: the Federal level, the regional level of the provinces (Bundesländer) and the local level of municipalities. Important contributions from renewable energy sources regard large hydropower for electricity, biomass for heat and power and solar thermal installations. On the Federal level the programme klima:aktiv (started 2004 by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management) aims at reducing CO2-emission and increasing the penetration of renewable energy sources. Regarding renewables, focus is on biogas and biomass, solar thermal and heat pumps. Typical for the Austrian programmes is that they are easily accessible through the internet and through telephone hotlines. With the decision of the Green Electricity Act 2009 of 23 September 2009 in the National Council (confirmed October 8, 2009 in the Bundesrat) essential contents of the second Ökostromgesetz of 2008 entered into force. The decision of Parliament had become necessary because of concerns of the European Commission regarding the cost cap for energy intensive industry (Ökostromkostendeckelung) , which will therefore not enter into force.

The following changes can be observed:

According to the Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the year 2020 for Austria is 34% (in the year 2005 the share was 23.3%). The Directive has a mandatory 10 % target for transport to be achieved by all Member States, which refers to renewable sources as a whole, not biofuels alone.

Renewable energy projections according to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Austria
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Austria was submitted in July 2010. The target according to Annex I of Directive 2009/28/EC is 34% for the year 2020 and the projected NREAP share in that year is 34.2%.  According to the projection, the most important contribution in the year 2020 is expected from hydropower (42.1 TWh or 3621 ktoe, 39% of all renewable energy). Second important contribution is expected from biomass (renewable heating and cooling) (3607 ktoe, 39% of all renewable energy). The third largest contribution is from biomass (renewable electricity) (5.1 TWh or 443 ktoe, 5% of all renewable energy). Onshore wind power contributes with 2.6 GW (4.8 TWh) in the year 2020. For solar photovoltaic the 2020 contribution is projected to be 322 MW (306 GWh). For solar thermal the 2020 contribution is projected to be 269 ktoe. The two most important biofuels are projected to contribute 410 ktoe (biodiesel) and 80 ktoe (bioethanol / bio-ETBE) by 2020. The renewable electricity production from solid biomass amounts to 4.5 TWh (390 ktoe) and for biogas it is expected to be 0.6 TWh (50 ktoe). The consumption of renewable heat is expected to amount to 3591 ktoe for solid biomass and 16 ktoe for biogas. 

Renewable electricity: wind power
As of 1 October 2006 an Executive Agency was established, the Ökostromabwicklungstelle (OeMAG) through which new installations producing renewable electricity will be granted subsidies. This is based on a new feed-in tariff scheme, entering into force in January 2007. The OeMAG will be entrusted the task of verifying and accrediting the renewable installation and monitor the available budget. Other tasks for the OeMAG are power contracting and feed-in tariff payments. The budget to pay the feed-in tariffs is collected as a fee to the final consumers (Zählpunktpauschale).

Different levels of the feed-in tariffs are presently available, depending on the year of first operation. Installations older than 31 December 2002 have regional tariffs. Installations that came into operation between 31 December 2004 and June 2006 have also own tariffs. Updates of the tariffs have been published in the according to Ökostromgesetznovelle 2006 on 24 October 2006 in Ökostromverordnung 2006 (BGBl II Nr 401/2006). Tariffs are reduced every year. For the year 2008 new tariffs were published on 14 February 2008 in Ökostromverordnung 2008 (BGBl II Nr 59/2008). For 2010 new tariffs were published in the Ökostromverordnung 2010 - ÖSVO 2010 (2 February 2010).

In order to be granted the feed-in tariff, a 50% co-financing must be carried out by the regions.

As of the year 2006, special arrangements exist for the eligible period. The applies for 10 years. In year 11 an amount of 75% of the according tariff is paid and in year 12 this is 50%. 

The Systemnutzungstarife-Verordnung Strom (SNT-VO 2006) Novelle 2009 determines that renewable electricity generators need to pay for grid-related system services, at an amount of  0,25 to 0,4 eurocent/kWh.

In August 2009 E-control, the Austian regulator for gas and power, has published a report (Bericht über die Stromkennzeichnung) that provided detailed insight in the electricity mix of Austrian suppliers.

Feed in tariffs are set and defined on an annual basis. In the latest Ökostromverordnung 2010 (2 February 2010) a renewed and raised feed in of 9,7cent/kWh for 2010 was published. After 4 years of stagnation, this has led to some installation activities in Austria in 2011 with 1011 MW now cumulatively installed in Austria. Tariffs for 2011 have not yet been announced.

Overview of feed in tariffs that apply to wind power in Austria:

The 2010 tariff is valid for all projects that have submitted proposals to OeMag until the end of 2010.

Future programme changes expected
The situation for 2011 is still unclear. In December 2010, the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth (BMWFJ) has suggested in a draft paper to maintain the level of support of 2010. However, the decision for a continued feed-in tariff for 2011 is pending. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management is expected to decide on a 2011 tariff in February 2011.
The support contigent of 21 million Euro annually is already used up until 2015.
At the beginning of 2011, 600 MW of wind power have been proposed to OeMAG. 120 MW are expected to become operational in 2011.


Feed in tariff 2010 according to Ökostromverordnung 2010 - ÖSVO 2010, (as of 2 February 2010), Ökostromabwicklungstelle (OeMAG),,,
(sourced January 2011)

Austrian Wind Energy Association, IG Windkraft,, Various press releases sourced January 2011,

EurObserv'ER Wind Energy Barometer,, February 2009

EurObserv'ER Wind Energy Barometer,, February 2010

EurObserv'ER Wind Energy Barometer,, February 2011

E-control, Förderung von Ökostromanlagen ab 1.10.2006, (sourced January 2008)

E-control, Einspeisetarife für Ökostromanlagen, according to BGBl II Nr 401/2006 and 59/2008, (sourced January 2008)

E-control, Regional tariffs, (sourced January 2008)

E-control, Ökostromgesetznovelle (2006)

E-control, (sourced October 2009)

E-control, 2009.pdf (sourced October 2009)

E-control, Bericht über die Stromkennzeichnung, August 2009 2009.pdf

Systemnutzungstarife-Verordnung Strom (SNT-VO 2006) Novelle 2009, 

Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammern Österreichs), (sourced January 2009)

Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources,

The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) are all published on the Transparency Platform on Renewable Energy: (sourced July - December 2010)

Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, (sourced December 2010)

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database
Last update: January 2011

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