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Austria

Austria

Austria struggling for growth

AUSTRIA: Austria's wind sector is struggling to maintain growth as it faces an 8.4% reduction in the feed-in tariff rate, from €0.0895/kWh in 2017 to €0.082/kWh in 2018.

Austria's wind fleet grew by just 196MW in 2017 (pic: Markus Haslinger / GWEC)
Austria's wind fleet grew by just 196MW in 2017 (pic: Markus Haslinger / GWEC)

The rate is subsequently set to fall a further 1% in 2019 to €8.12/kWh.

"This [year] is by far the biggest reduction so far under the eco-electricity law and will tend to slow project development," said Stefan Moidl, managing director of Austrian wind association IG Windkraft.

Around 180 wind turbines have been permitted and are ready to be built but are now waiting in the queue for support to be awarded.

Currently, the new Austrian government — which took up the reins in December 2017 — will not achieve its declared aim of annual renewables electricity generation equivalent to 100% of national consumption by 2030, the organisation pointed out, and called for new measures to secure the government target.

Growth

According to IG Windkraft figures, Austria's wind fleet grew by just 63 turbines (196MW) in 2017, to 1,260 turbines (2,844MW) and an annual output of roughly 6.1TWh, or 10% of the country's electricity consumption.

Its wind fleet is expected to reach 1,305 turbines with a total capacity of 3,019MW in 2018, with an expected 68 turbines (214MW) commissioned. Accounting for decommissioning, however, net growth will be about 175MW.

Newly commissioned turbine capacity in 2019 is likely to drop to 182MW, albeit rising to 281MW in 2020 before slipping to 277MW in 2021, compared with a peak of 408MW newly online in 2014, said IG Windkraft.

About 11% of Austria's electricity consumption was covered with electricity imports and costing €300 million a year. This money would be better used sourcing additional domestic wind energy, the organisation argued.

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