Austria - Country set for third year of growth

AUSTRIA: Record wind-power installations are due in Austria this year with about 380MW likely to be commissioned from an investment of EUR 630 million.

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Work on another 103MW is getting under way. By the end of 2014, more than 2GW will be feeding electricity into the Austrian network, says the country's wind association, IG Windkraft.

This will beat the 2013 figure, itself a record, of 306MW in new capacity, involving investment of around EUR510 million. Just over half this new build was installed in the state of Burgenland, where wind developer and operator Puspok Group has a strong wind presence.

By the end of 2013 Austria's total wind capacity had reached 1.68GW, generated by 872 turbines, of which Enercon had supplied 57%, followed by Vestas on 29% and Senvion (formerly Repower) with 6%.

By comparison, in 2012 Austria added 296MW of new capacity after an increase of just 73MW the previous year.

Energie Burgenland is Austria's biggest wind operator with 363MW in its portfolio, followed by Puspok (212MW) and EVN (202MW).

The fixing of the wind energy feed-in tariff for 2014 and 2015 - a 1% reduction per year on the 2013 tariff of EUR0.0945/kWh - set out in a government ordinance in December last year, is helping creating a positive and stable framework, says IG Windkraft.

On the downside, according to the association, the restrictive Lower Austria wind development draft zoning plan presented last December, has been a disappointment, especially as it would eliminate projects that are widely supported by the local population.

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