Renewable Energy in Austria

This study presents, the market development of the technologies photovoltaics, solar thermal systems and heat pumps and the effects on political economy for the year 2007.

Content Description

Market development of the technologies photovoltaics, solar thermal systems and heat pumps and the effects on political economy are of high interest for different target groups. A corresponding demand on information is given in case of technology producers, their suppliers, trade and industry as well as technology installers. But also for research and development the market data are of high value as base information for different studies and strategic issues. Last but not least, the effectiveness of energy policy instruments can be estimated by the observation of renewable energy technology market development.

In the present study the market data of the technologies photovoltaics, solar thermal systems and heat pumps are presented for the year 2007. In this connection also time series of the market development are described and analysed. These historical data have mainly been provided by comprehensive research of Faninger (2007). Beside the documentation of sales figures for domestic sales and export of the technologies political economy aspects like turnover, job creation and the reduction of CO2-emissions are analysed. Furthermore a view on the further technological development potential of the analyzed technologies completes the representations.

The findings described result from the investigation of empirically collected data including data of the technology producers and the sales companies as well as further technology-specific data sources. Data concerning the historical process of technology diffusion are mainly taken from Faninger (2007).

The market development of photovoltaics (stand alone plus net-integrated plants) shows a rise of the home market of 1,564 kWpeak in the year 2006 on 2,116 kWpeak in the year 2007, which corresponds to a growth of 35%, whereby 2007 more companies could be analysed than in 2006. Despite this pleasing observation the photovoltaics home market is still far from its historical maximum related in the year 2003 with 6,472 kWpeak. The total cumulated Austrian photovoltaics equipment in operation was 27.7 MWpeak in the year 2007. The photovoltaic modules installed in Austria had a middle electricity production of approx. 25 GWhel. This corresponds further to a saving of CO2-emissions at a value of approx. 20,900 tons of CO2. The export quota of photovoltaic modules amounts to 96%. The strongly growing production departments of the mover systems and the inverters show even higher export quotas. In the range of the photovoltaic industry 1,228 full time jobs have been registered in the year 2007.

The development of the solar thermal collector market in Austria is characterized by a stagnation of the sales figures on very high level in the year 2007. In this year 289,681 m2 solar thermal collectors were installed, which corresponds to an installed thermal power of 202.8 MWth. This was a small decrease of 3% in comparison to the year 2006. The installed solar thermal collectors were 96% glass covered collectors for water heating and space heating. Considering technical life span, in the year 2007 approx. 3.6 millions m2 of solar thermal collectors were in operation which corresponds to a thermal power of 2,521 MWth. For this reason Austrian solar collectors produced 1,204 GWhth, which causes a reduction of CO2-emissions of 493,836 tons. The export rate of solar thermal collectors was 67.7% in 2007. The turnover of solar thermal industry was measured with 385 million Euros for the year 2007. Therefore approx. 6,500 full time jobs can be numbered in the solar thermal business.

In the Austrian heat pump market in the year 2007 15,241 plants (all types and performance classes) were sold. These were around 14.9% more plants than in the year 2006. The growth is mainly caused by the fast growing segment of heat pumps for space heating, where a growth from 22,1% was observable. Considering the technical plant life span in the year 2007 148,422 heat pumps were in operation in Austria. These plants could make 1,002 GWh environment heat usable in 2007. Considering the electric current demand for the operation of the heat pumps CO2-savings of 446,904 can be registered. The export relation of the total Austrian heat pump market 2007 was 33.4% and thereby in comparison to the year 2006 an increase of 2.6 % was observable. For the heat pump industry a 2007 turnover of 169 million Euros was estimated. Furthermore in the heat pump industry 1,359 persons employed were registered in the year 2007.

Concluding the results of the current study a still increasing value of the examined technologies for Austria can be proven. Technologies for the use of renewable energy represent a substantial and - above all - an economically sustainable technology sector for Austria. An increasing economical importance can be expected in future in both, the home market and the export market. National energy policy instruments have a strong influence on the development of market diffusion in the home market, whereby the home market represents an important basis for the export market. In this sense and considering the ambitious national and European targets for forcing renewable energy, Austrian energy policy makers have the chance to support the further development of these successful technology lines with effective energy policy instruments.

Bibliographic Data

  • Berichtsteil Wärmepumpen und Gesamtkoordination: TU-Wien, Energy Economics Group, Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Peter Biermayr;
  • Berichtsteil Solarthermie: AEE INTEC, Ing. Werner Weiß, Dipl.-Ing. Irene Bergmann;
  • Berichtsteil Photovoltaik: arsenal research, Dipl.-Ing. Hubert Fechner, Mag. (FH) Natalie Glück;

Project Partners

  • Technische Universität Wien, Energy Economics Group (EEG)
    Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Peter Biermayr
    Tel.: +43 1 58801 - 37358
    Ing. Werner Weiß, Dipl.-Ing. Irene Bergmann
    Tel.: +43 3112 5886 17
  • arsenal research
    Dipl.-Ing. Hubert Fechner, Mag. (FH) Natalie Glück
    Tel.: +43 50550 - 6299