Austria launches second round of solar-storage rebate program


From pv magazine Germany

Austrian Minister for Climate Protection Leonore Gewessler has announced budget increases for the second round of the nation's rebate scheme for solar-plus-storage installations, to be held on June 21.

The government has earmarked an additional €40 million ($42.5 million) on top of the €20 million it initially allocated for the round.

“The text for the amendment is not yet available, but the new ordinance is expected to be published shortly,” a spokesperson for the national solar association, Bundesverband Photovoltaic Austria, told pv magazine.

However, it is still unclear if the increased funds for the second round will be deducted from the budget allocated for the third and fourth rounds. In the first round, a total of €40 million was allocated across 11,000 projects.

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Rebates are available for installations up to 10 kW in size, covering up to €285/kW installed. Overall, the Austrian government wants to provide at least €285 million across more solar project categories in 2022.

“We see this rapid reaction to the high demand as very positive, but we are already pointing out the essential continuity to the responsible ministry,” said Vera Immitzer, managing director of Bundesverband Photovoltaic Austria. “We will closely monitor the third and fourth funding call in 2022 and, if necessary, clearly request the missing budget. In the current market upswing, continuity has top priority for both the population and companies.”

The organization says the successful expansion of PV will largely depend on the expansion of grid infrastructure, which should be designed for decentralized producers.

“Austria has completely missed out on the extensive grid expansion that we all need for a 100 percent renewable power supply in recent years,” complained Herbert Paierl, CEO of Bundesverband Photovoltaic Austria. “The power grid is becoming a bottleneck for the energy transition and seems to be almost fully utilized. It cannot be that we lose the expansion momentum that we have just achieved because the infrastructure is not being expanded at the same pace.”

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