Burgenland, Austria

Burgenland, Austria

  • Target: 100% of its electricity from local, renewable sources by 2020
  • Status: Achieved - Burgenland managed to supply 100% of its electricity needs through wind power by 2013.
  • RES: Wind power and biomass energy.
  • Implementation: Burgenland is the seventh largest of Austria's nine states. It borders the Austrian states of Styria and Lower Austria, as well as Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. Today, this region in eastern Austria gets 100% of its electricity from local, renewable sources . It all began in 1992, when a local citizen wanted to install a wind turbine on his property and contacts a wind power consultancy. The consultancy recommended to build a large farm in view of the site’s high wind power potential. In the following year, the owner and the consultancy presented the project to the Zurndorf town council. Between 1993 and 1995,  planning and wind measurements were undertaken. In 1994, the municipality decided to create a company for managing the project (where the municipality has a 98% stake). By 1995, the membership of Austria to the European Union, meant that the Burgenland could benefit from EU Structural Funds to carry out infrastructure projects, such as energy. By 1997, the Austrian government decided to increase the share of renewable energy to 3% of final energy use, beginning with the construction of the Zurndorf wind farm. In 2001 the Austrian electricity market was open, and in 2002 Burgenland developed a regional wind power plan. In 2003 the Green Power Act was adopted. By 2009, the Burgenland Energieteam was established to set an energy self-sufficiency target by 2050, accompanied by an action plan. By 2013 self-sufficiency in electricity was already achieved. It is estimated that 4,500 jobs have been created through the development of wind power in Burgenland.
  • Population: 284,900
  • Area: 3,961.80 km(1,529.66 sq mi)
  • Link: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/archive/newsroom/pdf/200912_burgenland.pdf
Burgenland, Austria

Carinthia, Austria

Heiligenblut am Großglockner, Kärnten, Carinthia, Austria

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity achieved. 100% renewable heating by 2025. 100% renewable transport by 2035.
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Hydropower and biomass for heating.
  • Implementation: Carinthia (Kärnten) is a region in the mountains of southern Austria and is one of the leading renewable energy regions in Europe. Carinthia uses 100% renewable electricity from local water power, and all the utilities in the region sell only 100% renewable electricity. The region also uses 70% renewable energy (biomass) for heating, with a goal reaching 100% by 2025. Currently 12% of transportation demand is covered by renewables with an aim to get to 100% by 2035. By 2013, 55% of Carinthia's total energy supply was coming from renewable sources. Despite an increase in building space of 40% from 1990 to 2011, Carinthian households were able to achieve a 45% reduction in CO2 emissions during this period thanks to the region's energy choices. Renewable energy, along with other advanced technologies, contribute to the local industry base, with pump storage companies, a solar thermal factory and a cluster of biomass businesses all making the region their home.
  • Population: 557,371 (2015)
  • Area: 9,535.97 km(3,681.86 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.ktn.gv.at/Service/Publikationen?kid=5
Heiligenblut am Großglockner, Kärnten, Carinthia, Austria

Güssing, Austria

Güssing, Austria

  • Target: 100% renewable energy self-sufficiency.
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Biomass cogeneration and district heating system.
  • Implementation: Güssing is a small town in Austria, near the Hungarian border. Years ago, the town was struggling to pay for energy costs, today it is a trendsetter in the production renewable energies, particular in biomass gasification technology. Güssing implemented a renewable energy plan as part of an overall regional economic development and re-development plan. It started with a energy efficiency program in 1990, the town laid out plans to keep jobs and money in the area by taking ownership of their energy usage and production. The municipality would switch all the streetlights to LED and retrofit all the public buildings with new windows and insulation over a decade. The town also decided to stop using power produced by fossil fuels. Güssing’s agricultural and forestry provided the organic material for fuelling the community operated biomass district heating grids and in 2001, it began producing electricity and biogas in the world’s first functioning FICFB (Fast Internally Circulating Fluidized Bed) plant. Güssing’s success has let the way for the entire region of Burgenland to follow as energy prosumers. In 2013, the entire region produced enough locally produced electricity to cover demand. Güssing itself has become a tourist attraction for the renewable energy field, experiencing several hundred ecotourists a year. There have also been a substantial amount of businesses being established in, or have moved to, the region, resulting in an increase of local employment. The town now has 60 new companies, 1,500 new jobs, and annual revenues of $17 million due to energy sales. Güssing’s successes also attracted R&D, in particular was the foundation of the European Center for Renewable Energy founded in 1996 and remains central to Güssing's renewable energy industry today.
  • Population: 3,660 (2016)
  • Area: 49.31 km2 (19.04 sq mi)
  • Link: https://pocacito.eu/sites/default/files/ModelGüssing_Güssing.pdf
Güssing, Austria

Hartberg, Austria

Hartberg, Austria

  • Target: 100% CO2 neutral by 2020.
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: District heating system, biomass energy, and solar thermal and photovoltaic panels on all roofs.
  • Implementation: The city of Hartberg in Austria has set a 100% CO2-neutral target to include all buildings, industry as well as private households. The target is based on the CO2-neutral concept, elaborated by Joanneum Research, which had shown that a non-carbon society is not only necessary to mitigate climate change, but can also be extremely beneficial in terms of local added value. For the past 20 years, several measures have been implemented by the city.  In 2015, many important milestones were achieved, including supplying heat to all buildings through a district heating system that runs on woodchips, purchasing only renewable electricity from hydro-, wind- and solar power stations,  installing as much solar-thermal energy as possible and covering all available roof-surfaces with photovoltaic-cells. The involvement of different stakeholders was instrumental in Hartberg's success. Discussions were extensive and included private individuals, universities, energy experts, car-sharing providers, e-car pioneers, biogas pioneers, and so forth. However the most important partners in such a project were the local politicians, the local authorities, the district heating supplier and a local utility company.
  • Population: 6,534 (2016)
  • Area: 21.58 km2 (8.33 sq mi)
Hartberg, Austria

Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria

Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria

  • Target: 100% energy autonomous by 2020
  • Status: In progress -  To date, the energy-self-sufficiency coefficient (the ratio between regional energy demand and regional renewable energy generated) is around 75%.
  • RES: 21 small hydropower plants, 3 ecological storage lakes, 4 district biomass heating plants, 1 windpower plant, 1 biogas plant, several big and private photovoltaic and solar power plants.
  • Implementation: Since 2007 Kötschach-Mauthen in Austria has been known as an energy autonomous (energy independent) community. The town has a very long history in renewable energy, with the first waterpower plant built in 1886. By 2008, the “energie:autark Kötschach-Mauthen” association had been founded. The community  joined the Climate Alliance and the energy efficient communities program of the European Energy Award (known as e5-program in Austria). In 2012, the town was awarded with the European Energy Award ® Gold and five “e” in the e5-program. Today, there several different types of renewable energy installations. The town conducts guided tours for tourists, researchers and school groups  which combines nature experiences with visits to regional product centers and RES installations
  • Population: 3,459 (2016)
  • Area: 154.48 km2 (59.65 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.energie-autark.at/show_content.php?sid=95
Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria

Mureck, Steiermark, Austria

Mureck, Austria

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Biodiesel plant, a biomass district heating system, a biogas plant and a photovoltaic plant.
  • Implementation: The region of Mureck/Steiermark is taking action against climate change. It is ensuring social stability and creating new jobs by focusing on renewable and decentralised energy. Today, the region exceeds its energy demand of heat, electricity and fuel by 160% through the generation and use of renewable energy. It is not only a self-sufficient but is also an energy exporter. The municipality Mureck produces energy from renewable sources via the Energy Co-operative SEEG and local energy providers Nahwärme Mureck GmbH, Ökostrom and SEBA. The providers run a biodiesel plant, a biomass district heating system, a biogas plant and a photovoltaic plant involving citizens. The SEEG makes biodiesel from rapeseed grown by about 500 regional farms, as well as from used cooking oil sourced from private households and restaurants. About 95% of Mureck’s total heat demand is covered by a 2-MW biomass heat boiler, waste heat from electricity generation and a 2-MW biogas peak load boiler. This system is run by Nahwärme Mureck GmbH.  The biogas co-generation plant generates 8,000 MWh of electricity annually as well as heat. It uses manure and by-products from biodiesel production in the production process. The 2,500 kWp citizen photovoltaic plant comprises a solar farm, panels on roofs, and a climate-friendly energy-generating glasshouse, where organic vegetables are grown.
    Through the use of renewable energy, Mureck achieves a reduction of about 60,000 t of CO2 and 20,000 t of crude oil per year. Mureck‘s energy cycle system has received three sustainable energy  awards – the World Energy Globe, the European Solar Prize and the Austrian Solar Prize. Since 1998 Mureck has been a member of the Climate Alliance Austria and in 2007 it was named the most innovative Austrian municipality.
  • Population: 1,597 (2016)
  • Area: 38.72 km2(14.95 sq mi)
  • Link: (In German) https://www.mureck.gv.at/verkehr-energie/murecker-energiekreislauf/
Mureck, Austria

Niederösterreich, Austria

Durnstein, Niederösterreich, Austria

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Hydroelectric power, wind energy, biomass and solar.
  • Implementation: Niederösterreich, or Lower Austria, is located in north-east Austria, and shares its borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The state is Austria’s most populous. The 100% renewable electricity target was accomplished in November 2015 but is seen as but one step in an ongoing process by the state government. Renewable energy development is continuing as plans are in place to decommission the remaining coal fired power plant in the state by 2020. Further to this, the state is planning to generate 50% of all the state’s total energy demand via renewable sources by 2030. This includes increasing the production of bio-fuels for transportation and heating/cooling needs. At present, 100% renewable electric production in the state comes from a blend of generation technologies. It gets 63% of its electricity from hydroelectric power, 26% from wind energy, nine percent from biomass and two percent from solar. A pilot project took place studying the possibility for a wind to hydrogen storage system. Niederösterreich’s renewable energy success has created growth in employment in RE fields (38,000 jobs)  and the development of small and medium locally owned businesses. By 2030, the number of jobs is expected increase to 12,000 jobs.
  • Population: 1,653,419 (2016)
  • Area: 19,186 km2(7,408 sq mi)
  • Link: http://www.noe.gv.at/noe/Energie/NOE_Energiefahrplan_2030_Kurzfassung_en.pdf
Durnstein, Niederösterreich, Austria

Upper Austria Region, Austria

Hallstatt, Upper Austria, Austria

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity and heat by 2030.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Hydro power, biomass and solar energy.
  • Implementation: Upper Austria is one of 9 regions in Austria. It is the fourth-largest in the country by land area, and the third-largest by population. It borders the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg, as well as Germany and the Czech Republic. The Upper Austrian Energy strategy "Energiezukunft 2030" was launched to integrate climate actions across a number of economic sectors. It also sets the target for the region to reach 100% renewable electricity and heat by 2030. Renewable energy sources currently provide 80.7 % of Upper Austria's total electricity consumption and 44.5 % of its total heat consumption. Also, about 30% of its municipalities already use mainly biomass for heating.
    To achieve its 100% target, Upper Austria has embarked on a range of initiatives. The region was the first state to implement the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, requiring that all new residential buildings must meet stringent energy efficiency standards. It has introduced study programs and vocational training, for example, through its university courses in Green Energy Engineering and Green Energy Installation. The Government works intensively with both companies and citizens, offering expertise and training on energy efficiency, particularly on the refurbishment of buildings. A special program to prevent “energy poverty” was successfully started, as well as a special advisory program: Betriebliche Umweltoffensive, which provides expert advice for companies on environmental issues. Upper Austria has committed to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels by 41% compared to 2005 levels within the transportation sector by 2030. This is important because the region has a strong car manufacturing industry. The Clean Motion Upper Austria program promotes the production of electric vehicles. The Government of Upper Austria also subsidizes the purchase of EVs. The region's E-GEM Program ('Energy saving communities') has resulted almost half of the State’s 444 Communities are implementing their own local energy strategies, especially in the roll-out of smart metering systems.
  • Population: 1,453,948 (2016)
  • Area: 111,981.92 km(4,626.25 sq mi)
  • Link: (In German) https://www.land-oberoesterreich.gv.at/12782.htm
Hallstatt, Upper Austria, Austria

Waldviertler Kernland, Austria

Waldviertler Kernland, Austria

  • Target: Energy self-sufficient by 2030
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Hydropower and biomass energy.
  • Implementation: The 13 rural municipalities of the Austrian region of Waldviertler Kernland joined the Austrian initiative Climate and Energy Model Regions in 2010. Today, the region aims to become energy self-sufficient by 2030. This will mean meeting the regional demand for electricity, heat and mobility by only using energy derived from renewable sources. In order to achieve this target it will must extend the regional renewable energy supply from 256 MWh to 409 MWh per year. At the same time the total regional energy demand must decrease from 666 MWh to 409 MWh per year. The 100% target has its origins in a climate protection initiative which was nationally funded by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund from 2009 to 2015. In 2011, many regional studies were conducted including an energy inventory, an energy plan with an implementation strategy, and a potential study for energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy production. Since then,  an annual technical and monitoring report on regional activities is prepared and submitted. An energy team is in place  consisting of a chairman, an energy manager, local mayors and councillors, municipal energy experts and local entrepreneurs. They would hold 4 – 5  regional technical meetings each year to select and implement the necessary renewable energy infrastructure and energy efficiency projects. Waldviertler Kernland is technically supported by the regional energy agency Energieagentur der Regionen and by Climate Alliance Austria.
  • Population: 13,300
  • Area: 499 km2
  • Link: (In German) https://www.rm-waldviertel.at/index.php?channel=21
Waldviertler Kernland, Austria