Energy Management and Natural Ressources

Austria has made its way to the market leaders in the field of technology, which is primarily owing to the country´s early use of advanced methods through renewable energy (biomass, solar power, hydropower).

Key players of the sector set the agenda with hydropower

The major sectors include the solar-, wind power-, and fuel industry (biomass), alternative energy, heat pump manufacturers, well builders, boiler manufacturers, the electronic supply industry, engineers, OEM-wholesalers, installation firms, pump industry (Grundfos, Wilo), heating and heating technology industry, alternative heating techniques, pipeline and water treatment industry, as well as biogas and pellet producers.

Austria jumps on the “renewable energies“ bandwagon 

In 2010 the total revenue generated in the energy and water supply segment amounted to EUR 33,179 million (Statistik Austria). The proper exploitation of “renewable energies” i.a. by means of hydropower, biomass incl. waste provided for the coverage of 78.1 percent of the Austrian energy production. The domestic energy production is covered by the combustion of natural gas (14 percent) and mineral oil (9 percent). This is, where Austria has to rely on the import (BMWFJ). In 2010 the sales generated in the domestic heat supply accounted for a good EUR 6.65 billion. The nominal gross domestic product with respect to energy and water supply amounted to EUR 6.83 billion in 2010. In 2010 the actual GDP dropped by -1.0 percent compared to the +5.8 percent in the previous year, whereas the number of employees was at 40,832 spread across 450 hiring companies in this branch. In 2010 the consumer price index was at 117.1, corresponding to a surplus of +2.6 percent compared to the previous year (cf. Statistik Austria 2011).

Positive signals coming from export 

Austria´s excellent expertise is met with great interest in foreign markets. In 2010 the export ratio reached a whopping 32.3 percent and the foreign sales amounted to a remarkable EUR 10,594 million. The export of fuels and energy from Austria led to a profit of EUR 3,550 million in 2010 (Statistik Austria). The lion´s share of energy exports is taken by gas (44.5 percent), oil (29.9 percent), electrical energy (20.9 percent), and renewable energy (4.7 percent) (www.bmwfj.gv.at).

New boom with green electricity 

A good two thirds of the green electricity plants are operated by wind turbines. More than 15 percent of the energy is made by liquid or gaseous biomass. In an EU comparison, Austria ranks among the top players in terms of “renewable energy“ and is likely to catch up soon with Latvia, Sweden, and Finland (BMLFUW). The generation of biomass using biogas, wood chipping and pellet heating system plants is in demand like never before (BMWFJ). Basically, it can be said that Austria is moving straight forward in terms of energy efficiency. In 2006 the “energetic consumption” in Austria dropped for the first time back to1092,8 PJ, i.e. Austria had to buy less energy for heating, hot water, and electricity. This is accompanied by the positive forecast that the proportion of the electricity generation by wind, solar power, biomass from waste, and geothermal energy will double from 1.3 gigawatt (GW) (2006) to over 3.0 GW by 2020. The goal is to cover 85 percent of the domestic electricity consumption by renewable energy (cf. Statistik Austria, APA, online).

Positive image also in foreign markets

Thanks to renewable energies, Austria enjoys a brilliant reputation in foreign markets when it comes to innovations and sustainability. Austria has made its way to the market leaders in the field of technology, which is primarily owing to the country´s early application of advanced methods through renewable energy (biomass, solar power, hydropower) (www.bmwfj.gv.at).

Additional sources: APA, BMLFUW, www.lebensministerium.at, www.salzburg.ag, www.energie.ag, www.bmwfj.gv.at, www.iea.org
Editorial department: Mag. Markus Pellischek-Wilsdorf