Solar in Austria

Installed capacity187MW

The framework of support measures for the Austrian solar photovoltaic market has been, and continues to be fairly complicated, with many overlapping Federal and provincial schemes.

With the attainment of the 15 MW cap on installed PV capacity imposed by the 2003 Federal Green Electricity Act (Ökostromgesetz), Federal support for solar photovoltaic ceased and only regional subsidies continued. However, a revised Act, passed by Parliament in late 2006, has provided further support for new PV installations, albeit on an annual basis, and incorporating a request to the Austrian provinces to double the federal subsidy. According to the 2008 Feed-in Decree the tariffs are defined according to the size and lifetime of installations. A rebate scheme administered by the national Fund for Climate and Energy was launched during 2008. It provides rebates for newly installed private PV systems up to 5 kWp.

Following several years of very small increments, 2008 saw a 4.7 MWp addition to PV capacity, more than double that installed during 2007. By end-2008 total installed capacity stood at 32.4 MWp, of which 90% was grid-connected. A further 5-8 MWp was expected to be installed during 2009.

Building Integrated PV (BIPV) has, for some time, been implemented in Austria and continues in new and refurbished buildings. During 2008 two national programmes (New Energy 2020 and Buildings of Tomorrow Plus) supporting BIPV were launched.

The Austrian WEC Member Committee reports that total output from active solar heating devices was 4 788 TJ in 2008, with an additional 4 356 TJ from passive sources (e.g. use of appropriate building orientation and design).

With regard to solar collecting panels in operation, the most recent ESTIF (European Solar Thermal Industry Federation) tabulation shows Austria in third place in terms of area installed in 2008, with approximately double that installed in France, Italy or Spain.