The Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Green Party (Grünen) have found an agreement on Austria’s future renewable energy law. The new law, which was approved by the Austrian Parliament on Thursday, required the approval of least two thirds of the assembly, and the support of the Green Party to the government coalition formed by the SPÖ and the ÖVP was decisive for the introduction of the new provisions.
The local solar association Photovoltaic Austria (PVA) has praised the agreement as “partial political miracle.”
With the new law, more financial incentives for PV and wind power will be provided. The reform includes the possibility that all funds allocated every year can be used for renewable energy incentives. Prior to the new law, the annual budget was never completely allocated and around one fourth of the funds remained unused. Furthermore, the new reform aims at further supporting PV for self-consumption and at increasing the number of power producers.
Moreover, the new law will provide a further €30 million in incentives for solar-plus-storage installations for the period 2018-2019. This means that for the first time Austria will provide incentives for PV storage at a national level and not only in single regions. The new regulation also introduces the possibility to build community solar plants in multi-occupied buildings.
Photovoltaic Austria believes that in 2018 the national solar market could grow by one fourth due to the new law. “We expects for 2018 a growth in new PV installations of about 25%, this means an additional capacity of between 40 MW and 50 MW,” said the association’s president Hans Kronberger.
In 2016, the Austrian PV market grew by around 2.6% thanks to 155.8 MW of newly installed solar capacity.