Multifunctional Energy Centre Kötschach-Mauthen - model-system to achieve energy-self-sufficiency

Development of concepts for a multifunctional Energy Centre (biomass district heating und biogas polygeneration for the supply of heat, electricity, process heat, cooling and biofuels) and for a "Öko-Energietourismus" for the community of Kötschach-Mauthen on the way to energy-self-sufficiency

Short Description





The community of Kötschach-Mauthen (about 3.700 inhabitants, about 155 km2), is situated in the southwest of the Austrian federal state Carinthia (region "Oberen Gailtal" or "Unteres Lesachtal") and part of the "Karnische Region" and of the culture project "Via Iulia Augusta". Kötschach-Mauthen is a pioneer for demonstration of renewable energy production and therefore was awarded the European Solar Award in 1995. In spring 2006 the community of Kötschach-Mauthen has initiated the "Plattform energie:autark Kötschach-Mauthen" and developed a convention to achieve energy-self-sufficiency.

Goals and content

Goal of this project is (on basis of the model) a concept for the development of the existing polygeneration (heat and electricity from solar energy, biomass district heating plants and biogas combined heat and power plant, electricity from water and wind power fed in the grid of the "Alpen Adria Energie AAE" company) to the model-system "Multifunctional Energy Centre Kötschach-Mauthen". From this model-system the energy-self-sufficiency should be realized medium or long term. The model-system should become a best practise example to other communities and regions. A concept of new innovative technologies (e.g. supply of process heat, cooling with biomass district heat) to supplement the existing installations will be developed.

On basis of the already existing "Energie-Wasserwelt Hydro Solar" and the "Bio-Schauheizanlage" a comprehensive tourism concep ("Öko-Energietourismus") and a strategy for diffusion will be drawn up. The number of demonstration installations of renewable energy production for tourists will be increased and should become well known also outside the region.


First the energy balance (present and future data) will be calculated as a starting point for future innovative aspects in the model system. An assessment of the innovative aspects will be done with the seven principles of sustainable technology development. Greenhouse gas emissions and cumulative energy demand will done calculated by life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology. A strategy for the diffusion of "Öko-Energietourismus" will comprise measures of product and communication policy.

The technological and ecological conception and the implementation will be developed by integration of the people of Kötschach-Mauthen and the regional stake holders (representatives of energy company, tourism centre and community).

Expected results

All project partners and the inhabitants should develop together new aspects and solutions for the "Multifunctional Energy Centre Kötschach-Mauthen" to extend the use of renewable energy on the way to energy-self-sufficiency that should provide advantages for the energy supply of the people. A conception of "Öko-Energietourismus" should then present the model-system as a best practise example outside the region and provide economic impacts for the community Kötschach-Mauthen also.

Project Partners

Project management

Kurt Könighofer
JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH / Institut für Energieforschung und Institut für Technologie- und Regionalpolitik

Project or cooperation partner

Contact Address

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Institut für Energieforschung und Institut für Technologie- und Regionalpolitik
Elisabethstraße 5, A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 316 876-1324
Fax: +43 316 876-1320