Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Hydropower Country Notes
The use of hydro-power as a clean and emission-free way of generating electricity has a long tradition in Austria. Hydro-electric power represents about 60% of the domestic electricity generated and about one-third of the total of energy generated.
In addition to a number of large river power stations along the Danube, storage power stations were built in the western alpine regions which largely serve to cover the power demands in winter. In recent years, assessing the environmental compatibility has been the most important consideration when constructing a plant.
During the summer, practically the entire demand for electricity can be catered for by hydro-electric stations and Austria even exports electricity.
Small hydro up to 10 MW has been granted tariffs of between 3.15 and 6.25 cents per kWh, depending on whether the plant is new or refurbished. There is a new subsidy for middle-scale hydro from 10 to 20 MW, with a maximum of € 6 million per plant.