Monday, April 8, 2013

Austria Installed 230 MW Of Solar Capacity In 2012

230 megawatts (MW) of new solar energy capacity were installed by Austria in 2012. This more than doubled its total capacity, bringing it up to 415 MW.

While there hasn’t been much of a push for solar energy in the country yet, there definitely appears to be growing interest. For 2013, €8 million ($10.3 million) of funding is dedicated for solar PV projects, plus another €18 ($23 million) is to be split amongst various types of renewables (PV, wind, and small hydro).
However, as PV Magazine notes, ”on January 1 most applicants who were registering in the Energy Clearing Service Center to obtain funding for their photovoltaic systems received the message: ‘The service is unavailable’. Due to the large number of applications received, the computer system had crashed.”
The clearing office is having to analyze the data in detail in order to determine who “got there first” and will receive the funding. As of now, a full 140 MW of solar have been approved for 2013.
Just last year, the Austrian government drafted a new “Green Energy Act” aimed at reducing the likelihood of only a few plants monopolizing the funds, by completely removing feed-in tariffs for plants larger than 500 kWp (more or less, what Poland is doing, but Poland’s limit is going to be 2 MW). As a result, there has been some increased interest amongst smaller parties. That will hopefully continue into the future. As of now, PV solar accounts for only 0.6% of Austria’s energy mix.
Based on 2011 solar installation data, Austria was the 18th best country for solar power per TWh of electricity production and it was 33rd for solar power per capital.