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With a share of 70 RES-E of gross electricity consumption in 1997, Austria was the leading EU Member State for many years. Large hydropower is the main source of RES-E in Austria . More recently, a steady rise in the total energy demand has taken place, and a decrease in the share of RES-E has been noted.


Austrian policy supports RES-E through Feed-in tariffs (FIT) that are annually adjusted by law. The responsible authority is obliged to buy the electricity and pay a FIT. The total available budget for RES-E support was decreased in May 2006, and tariff adjustments that are adjusted annually have been implemented. Within the new legislation, the annual allocated budget for RES support has been set at €17 million for “new RES-E” up to 2011. This yearly budget is pre-allocated among different types of RES (30 to biomass, 30 to biogas, 30 to wind, 10 to PV and the other remaining RES). Within these categories, funds will be given on a “first come – first served” basis.

Table I.1: Feed in Tariffs (valid for new RES-E plants permitted in 2006 and / or 2007):

Small hydro  Year 10 and 11 at 75 per cent and year 12 at 50 per cent
PV systems 300- 490
Wind systems 76.5 (2006) 75.5 (2007)
Geothermal energy 74 (2006) and 73 (2007)
Solid biomass and waste with large biogenic fraction
Note: Expressed values refer to 'green' solid biomass  (such as wood chips or straw).
Lower tariffs in case of sawmill, bark (-25 per cent of default) or other biogenic waste streams (-40 to -50 per cent)
113-157 (2006);
111- 156.5 (2007)
64(2006) 63 (2007) - max 50 for hybrid plants
Biogas 115- 170 (2006)
113-169.5 (2007)
Sewage and landfill gas 59.5 – 60 (2006) ; 40.5-41 (2007)

Mid-scale hydro power plants (10-20 MW) and CHP-plants receive investment support of up to 10 of the total investment costs.

At present, a new amendment is verified, suggesting an increase in the annual budget for support of “new RES-E” from €17 to 21 million. Consequently, the duration of FIT fuel-independent technologies might be extended to 13 years (now 10 years) and fuel-dependent technologies to 15 years (now 10 years), on behalf of the Minister of Economics. Moreover, investment subsidies of small hydro plants (>1MW) up to 15 are implemented. The emphasis is laid on 700 MW wind power, 700 MW small hydro power and 100 MW biomass.


The RES-E target to be achieved in Austria by 2010 is 78.1 of gross electricity consumption. In 2004, the share of renewable energy in gross electricity consumption reached 62.14, compared to 70 in 1997.

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