Energy research expenditure - corporate sector in Austria 2021

759.8 million in research expenditure was allocated to the topic of energy by domestic companies in 2021. This figure was 16% higher than the comparable figure from the 2019 survey. The report contains detailed figures and analyses of various technologies with regard to company and public R&D investments.

Bibliographic Data

A. Indinger, F. Bettin
Publisher: BMK, 2024
German, 66 pages

Content Description

Domestic companies allocated 759.8 million euros in research expenditure to the topic of energy in 2021, which means that corporate research expenditure is more than three times higher than financing from the public sector. This figure is 16.0% higher than the comparative value from the 2019 survey. A particularly sharp decline in expenditure by enterprises headquartered in Vienna has been offset by substantial increases in Styria, Upper Austria and Lower Austria. General expenditure on research and development (R&D) increased by 4.1% to 9.1 billion euros during this period.
A detailed analysis of around 250 companies in ten energy technology sectors shows a mixed picture for 2021:

  • In photovoltaics, R&D spending by the companies analysed continued to rise, reaching 27.9 million euros.
  • Solar thermal energy was able to reverse the decline of recent years in production and research. Companies invested 2.1 million euros in R&D.
  • Following a slump in 2020, wind power saw a significant increase in installations in Austria. While R&D expenditure by the public sector increased, that of the private sector fell slightly to 10 million euros.
  • The companies analysed in the area of hydropower technologies increased their R&D expenditure from an already high level to over 90 million euros.
  • Companies that design or manufacture plants or technologies for the production of solid and liquid biofuels and biogas recorded similar internal R&D expenditure as in 2019 of around 8 million euros.
  • Companies producing boilers, furnaces and CHP systems for the use of solid biomass have reversed the decline in R&D expenditure and recorded a sharp increase to 30.8 million euros.
  • Companies in the development and production of light sources and lighting systems have switched to the completely new LED technology for their products. The energy-related research expenditure of these companies in the broader sense remained at a very high level and reached 60 million euros.
  • Ten companies spent a total of 43.5 million euros on R&D in the field of electricity storage in 2021, which represents a significant increase on previous years and continues the upward trend. The focus was on battery systems.
  • The topic of hydrogen is newly included in the study and shows a strong increase in 2021, especially for the public sector. Spending by the companies themselves reached 10.1 million euros.
  • Spending by companies in the area of heating, cooling and air conditioning almost doubled, reaching 17 million euros.

The companies' expenditure on these ten technology areas totalled 302.6 million euros in 2021. In the year under review, around 4,500 people (full-time equivalents) were employed in R&D in the companies analysed, slightly more than half of them in the technology fields analysed.
The research bonus plays an important role in financing research and increasing the attractiveness of Austria as a business location; in recent years, an average of 35 million euros per year has been allocated to the energy technology sector.


Energieforschungsausgaben - Unternehmenssektor in Österreich 2021 (only in German)