Austria plans to launch 100,000 solar roof program

Austrian Environment Minister, Elisabeth Köstinger and Transport Minister, Norbert Hofer have presented a new draft plan for the integrated climate and energy strategy (IKES) “#mission2030” to the government on Tuesday.

The plan aims to switch power supply to 100% renewable energy by 2030. An important step in this regard is the “100,000 roofs program” for solar PV systems and home storage. “Under the new plan, every homeowner will be able to produce their own energy,” explained Köstinger.

The local PV association, Photovoltaic Austria (PVA) has welcomed the new plan, but it has also highlighted how the details of the “100,000 roofs program” still have to be disclosed. “I hope that the following consultation process will bring clarity here. Although most of work must still be done, the taken path can bring Austria to the top of clean energy production in the EU by 2030,” said Hans Kronberger of PVA.

The submitted draft states that the planned “100,000 Roofs Photovoltaic and Small Storage Program” should provide investment support. In addition to the abolition of the tax on electricity, investment obstacles in relevant regulations should be eliminated. In particular, the construction of community PV projects and commercial rooftop systems should be facilitated.

According to Kronberger, the abolition of taxes for the self-consumption of solar, which is currently in place (Sonnensteuer), would be immediately enforceable in Parliament. Even the Minister of the Environment called this tax “absurd”.

Greenpeace, however, has presented a comprehensive analysis of “#mission2030”, and spoke of a “government failure”. Above all, the environmental organization criticizes the lack of concrete responsibilities, binding timetables and good financing conditions.

Furthermore, it claims that the proposals will be not sufficient to make Austria carbon-neutral. In order to reach this goal, Greenpeace said, greenhouse gases should fall by at least 55% by 2030 and energy consumption reduced by one third.