Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Solar Country Notes
The IEA-PVPS 2005 Annual Report states that there is no federal support for PV in Austria, as the feed-in tariff introduced in 2003 quickly reached its cap of 15 MW. However, a number of regions offer subsidies under a variety of schemes. Despite the discontinuity, growth in the PV park has been substantial in recent years, with installed capacity at year-end multiplying four-fold between 2001 and 2005.
Out of an installed total of 24 021 kWp at end-2005, 2 895 kWp was off-grid,
19 973 kWp grid-connected distributed and 1 153 kWp grid-connected centralised. Although the initial installations were standalone systems, in recent years the emphasis has been on grid-connected distributed systems, which now represent more than 80% of the overall installed capacity. Electrical output from all PV installations amounted to about
13 000 MWh in 2005.
The Austrian WEC Member Committee reports that total output from active solar heating devices was 3 712 TJ in 2005, with a somewhat larger contribution (4 248 TJ) from passive sources (e.g. use of appropriate building orientation and design). The total glazed area of solar thermal collectors in operation in 2005 was 2 319 000 m2, giving an output capacity of about 1 623 MWt.
With regard to new household solar collecting panels, the most recent ESTIF (European Solar Thermal Industry Federation) tabulation shows Austria in second place in terms of area installed in 2005, far ahead of sun-rich countries such as Spain or Italy.
An interesting idea combining the power of the sun and energy from biomass has been implemented in Salzburg. The Stieglgründe project uses a combination of solar energy and wood pellet combustion to provide heating and hot water to 128 households. The site was so constructed as to allow for maximum use of any rays from the sun. Heating costs for each household are only € 150 per annum.