Austria doubles capacity in three years

AUSTRIA: Austria has doubled its installed wind capacity within 3 years, adding 1,015MW and 365 turbines between 2012 and 2014, according to the Austrian wind energy association IG Windkraft.

The Höflein project in Lower Austria
The Höflein project in Lower Austria

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In total Austria has a total 1,016 turbines with 2,095MW. The capacity can generate around 4.5TWh per year, roughly equivalent to 7.2% of Austria's electricity consumption.

Underlining the significance of the sector, €15.3 billion was invested in wind energy over the period 2012-2014, more than in the automobile or food sectors.

Last year 144 turbines totalling 411MW were installed in Austria, compared with 308MW in 2013 and 296MW in 2012.

In 2015, about 390MW of new capacity is expected to be commissioned, mainly in Lower Austria, the association predicted.

However, beyond that, the future outlook is less rosy. The increasing cost of balancing power serving the electricity system and lower wholesale electricity prices mean fewer projects will get the green light from the green power administration authority Ökostromabwicklungsstelle (OeMAG).

OeMAG controls support for renewables generation. Annual installations are likely to halve compared with the current level, warned  IG Windkraft managing director Stefan Moidl, who called for a revision of balancing power market rules.

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