Austria mulls mandatory PV as new rebates for solar and storage launched

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From pv magazine Germany.

The regional government of Styria, in southern Austria, is considering a housebuilding reform package which could make PV systems mandatory on the roofs of new buildings.

The policy package proposes mandating building design which would support a kilowatt of solar generation capacity for every unit of roofspace.

The news comes as the Austrian Climate Fund this week opened a rebate scheme for PV and energy storage systems used in agriculture and forestry. The program will offer subsidies for PV systems with a 5-50 kW capacity and for storage systems with a capacity in kilowatt-hours up to three times the generation capacity of the rooftop array.

Backed by a €6 million budget, which may increase next year, applications for subsidy can be made until November 20 next year – or until the funds run out.

How it works

“Only newly installed photovoltaic systems – with and without electricity storage – as well as electricity storage as retrofitting for existing photovoltaic systems will be subsidized,” stated the Climate Fund. “The installation of used PV modules and used power storage is not encouraged.”

The subsidy available is €275 per installed kW and €375 for building-integrated PV systems. For storage systems the rebate available per kilowatt-hour of usable capacity ranges from €350 for the smallest units – with a capacity up to 5 kWh – to €250 for the largest (20 kWh and above).

Applications must be submitted online and payments will be made after project installation.

Federal association Photovoltaic Austria (PVA) welcomed the new fund. “Especially for electricity storage systems, the investment costs per kilowatt-hour decrease with increasing storage size. Therefore, the staggering of the subsidy rate depending on the storage size guarantees a very efficient use of the subsidies,” said PVA managing director Vera Immitzer.

The Climate Fund in Austria also promotes the general installation of small PV systems, with a capacity of up to 5 kW. High demand means the subsidy budget has already been raised several times this year and amounts to more than €8 million. The PVA has criticized the process of augmenting the budget and said supplying sufficient funds to start with would allow applicants to plan better.