From pv magazine Germany
Austria saw a record increase of 341 MW in photovoltaic systems in 2020, according to new figures released by trade body Photovoltaik Austria. Compared to 2019, last year's result represented a 38% growth.
Overall, photovoltaics covered 3.6 percent of electricity demand last year. The cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity in the country rose to 2,035 MW at the end of last year.
Vera Immitzer, managing director of the federal association, sees the numbers as “first signs of a solar revolution”. However, the 341 MW are still far too low from the 2030 targets set by the Austrian government. “By 2025 at the latest, three times as many systems as we have today will have to be installed every year, and in the following years up to five times as many systems,” she further explained, adding that a reliable framework for solar subsidies in the country is urgently needed.
The planned new renewable energy law — the Erneuerbaren-Ausbau-Gesetz (EAG) — is expected to create the conditions for this strong development. Despite having long been discussed, the final passing of the law is nowhere in sight, however. Photovoltaic Austria has therefore activated a countdown on its website in order to finally get politicians to act. “Only if we have this increase every year from now on can we pat ourselves on the back in 2030 and be proud,” Immitzer stated.
The current framework conditions are seen as inadequate due to insufficient funding, the fact that other programs are expiring and the lack of incentives for further photovoltaic expansion in the federal states.
In February, Austrian energy agency OeMAG allocated 322 MW of PV capacity across 15,957 rooftop solar projects under the country's residential solar subsidy program for 2020. According to authorities, the funding pot has triggered around €332.4 million in investments.
Through its incentive schemes, Austria is supporting mainly rooftop PV. To date, only a few ground-mounted PV plants have been built in the country. The largest solar park is an 11.5 MW facility that came online in March.
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