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Austria Adds 497 MW of Solar and 37 MW of Wind Capacity in Q1

Austria connected 497 MW of new solar installations and 37 MW of wind energy capacity to the power grid in the first quarter of 2024, according to data published by E-Control.

Driven primarily by private households, the expansion of solar energy aligns with Austria's strategy to add 1,100 MW of new solar capacity annually to meet its 2030 target.

In the first quarter of 2024, photovoltaic expansion nearly matched the target set for the end of the second quarter, indicating significant growth in this sector. In contrast, only about 40% of the target for wind energy expansion has been achieved.


The data shows that the 16 distribution network operators received a total of 32,268 applications for grid connection of PV systems in the first three months of the year. About 27,500 applications, or 85.2% of the total, were for systems of up to 20 kW, while a further 4,339 applications were for systems between 20 kW and 250 kW. The remaining 427 applications were for systems over 250 kW.


In all federal states, most applications were approved without restrictions. However, the highest proportion of restricted approvals occurred in Upper Austria at about 41%, followed by Lower Austria at around 30%.


The Alpine country aims to increase renewable energy generation by 27 TWh by the end of this decade. To reach its goal, it must install 1,100 MW of solar, 400 MW of wind, 125 MW of hydropower, and 15 MW of biomass each year.


INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR MORE GOVT SUPPORT


Although solar energy expansion is on track this year and after the addition of 2,332 MW in 2023, industry association PV Austria has called on the government to improve framework conditions and provide incentives to encourage commercial and industrial (C&I) businesses, which remain hesitant to install solar installations.


PV Austria's proposed measures include accelerated grid expansion, improved economic conditions such as attractive financing options for new commercial and industrial solar installations, exemption from approval procedures for rooftop systems, uniform approval processes across all provinces, accelerated energy storage deployment, and incentives for mobility and heat transition, and electrification through flexible tariffs.

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