Vienna’s green goals regarding the usage of renewable energy

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Renewable energy, also known as clean energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly being renewed. Renewable resources are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time.

Austria is one of the top European countries regarding renewable energy usage. This is something that makes the country one of the greenest countries in Europe.

According to the report by Eurostat from 2020, Austria is one of the most environmental-friendly EU member countries concerning energy sources. Austria ranks fifth in statistics that gather data about the share of renewable energy sources in the total gross energy consumption of a country.

The country is fully committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, even though the European Commission has set the year 2050 as the EU deadline.

According to the Energy Report from 2019 which was prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Regions, and Tourism, about 82% of the energy generated in Austria derived from renewable sources in 2018. Biomass accounts for 55% of all renewable energy and hydropower for 33%. Furthermore, the wind and solar generation (6.6%) is increasing all the time.

In 2019, the city of Vienna implemented the new green measure, called Energy Zoning Plans which was developed by the Department for Energy Planning. This measure sets out the energy solutions for heating and hot water supply for defined zones in the city. Because of this measure, all new buildings in the zones must use district heating or other high-efficiency solutions like renewables or waste heat. This measure enables the steering of more efficient use of district heating in the city and prevents fossil gas solutions for new buildings.

Furthermore, another measure towards achieving carbon neutrality in Austria’s capital city is that new non-residential buildings have been required to install solar energy. From 2020, this regulation is also extended to residential buildings. 

Many of Vienna’s residents live in flats and are therefore unable to set up solar energy panels on their rooftops which is why Wien Energie solved this big issue by handing the ownership of its solar and wind power plants to residents. 

Starting in 2012, Wien Energie had built wind turbines and installed solar panels on the roofs of large buildings, such as shopping centers, and in industrial areas, which all make a huge difference in energy consumption and the use of renewable energy in the city. (photo credit: macrovector_official/Freepik)