Austria commits to significant renewables boost

(EurActiv, 12 Jan 2023) Following a two-day retreat, the government said it wants to accelerate the deployment of renewables in Austria by speeding up permitting, solar PV construction and providing more generous subsidies.

During his time as chancellor, Sebastian Kurz set the goal of having Austria run on 100% renewable electricity. While the ambitious expansion of hydroelectric power had created significant gains in the past, the lack of public acceptance saw the share of renewables stagnate to around 65% in recent years.

Faced with an energy crisis and dependence on Russian gas, this is set to change. Austria would be empowered to “become more independent and free,” explained Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Wednesday. The government wants to empower “Austria and its people to do their active part in driving forward climate and environmental protection,” he added.

Last year was a record year for solar PV installations in Austria, with some 1.3 Gigawatts of capacity being added.

“Now, with the Renewable Expansion Acceleration Act (EABG), we are delivering further extensive improvements for the approval of smaller plants,” explained Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler.

The new law would mean that small solar PV installations on existing buildings would no longer require a permit. State support for solar projects, which amounted to €395 million in 2022, will be increased to €600 million.

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EurActiv, 12 Jan 2023: Austria commits to significant renewables boost