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Austria Renewable Energy Expansion Law*

In July 2021, the Renewable Energy Expansion Act (EEG) came into force in Austria. It intends to contribute to the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2040 and 100 % of the electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 (excluding balancing needs).

Instead of the previous fixed feed-in tariffs, market premiums are now envisaged (implementing EU legal requirements) to promote electricity generation from hydropower, wind power, photovoltaics, solid biomass, and biogas. Auctions will be held to determine the awardees of feed-in premiums for solar PV, biomass and wind power plants (for the latter as of 2023) and the guaranteed price used to calculate the feed-in-premiums.

Private households and small investors are also motivated to invest in the energy transition through the introduction of renewable energy communities and citizen energy cooperatives. Renewable energy communities enable the joint use of locally generated renewable energy. Private individuals, local departments of the public sector or legal entities under public law, and SMEs can participate. Users can also join together to form supra-regional citizen energy communities to invest in alternative energy systems. Both forms of energy community are supported by simplified grid connection and grid access.

Furthermore, the law creates regulatory freedom for innovative projects.

Investment subsidies are available for the construction and expansion of photovoltaic plants, electricity storage, wind power plants, the retrofitting of existing biogas plants, new plants to be built for the production of renewable gas, and for plants for the conversion of electricity into hydrogen or synthetic gas. About 1 billion euros per year are to flow into the expansion of renewable energies, of which the production expansion of "green" hydrogen and "green" gas is to be promoted by 80 million euros per year.

The contributions required for this are to be levied on the end consumers. The additional burden on individual households amounts to about 18 euros per year for the green electricity contribution and 40 euros for the green gas contribution. Companies are charged depending on the grid level, consumption, and connected load.

With these measures, electricity generation from renewable sources is to be increased by 27 TWh and domestic renewable gas by 5 TWh per year. Of the 27 TWh of electricity per year, 11 TWh are to come from photovoltaics, 10 TWh from wind power, 5 TWh from hydropower, and 1 TWh from biomass.

Source: https://pvaustria.at/wp-content/uploads/Austrian_Renewable_Energy_Expansion_Act_1645214803.pdf