Austria’s energy policy rests on three pillars – security of supply, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. The country’s decarbonisation drive has strengthened as the economy and renewable energy use have continued to grow, while fossil fuel use has decreased. Notably, Austria has more than tripled the public funding for energy research, development and demonstration since 2007.
Greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, which peaked in 2005, still need to be reduced further, and the transport sector offers prime opportunities for this. In the context of EU negotiations on an energy and climate policy framework to 2030, Austria should develop a strategy that also integrates security of supply and internal market dimensions. Closer cross-border integration of both electricity and natural gas markets and systems is required to build a single European market. This calls for increased co-ordination and co-operation with neighbouring countries. Austria should also encourage investment in networks, optimise demand response and integrate variable renewable energy supply in a cost-effective and market-based manner. A well-functioning internal market can help reduce the growing concerns over energy prices and costs, both for industry and for citizens. Austria could address these concerns also by implementing more energy efficiency measures and facilitating greater retail market competition.
This review analyses the energy policy challenges facing Austria and provides sectoral studies and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.