|Year Implemented||2002 (amended 2006, 2007, 2008)|
|Policy Status||In force|
|Date Announced||August 2002|
|Date Promulgated||July 2002, amended 2006, 2007, 2008|
|Date Effective||Most clauses came into effect on 1.1.2003|
|Agency||•Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labour
•Federal Ministry of Social Security and Generations
|Funding||EUR 400 million/year before 2002|EUR 275 million/year after 2002|
|Related Policies||Green Electricity Act - 2008 and 2009 amendments
Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
|Policy Supersedes||Eco-plants Feed-in Tariffs
Renewable Energy Targets
Green Certificates Trading for Small Hydro Generation
•Multiple Renewable Energy Sources
|Description||The Green Electricity Act, which entered into force on the 1st of January 2003, made way for a uniform country wide regulation of the support schemes for Green Power.
The Green Electricity Act is aimed at:
- A single federal support payment scheme for "other" green power, small hydro and combined heat and power (CHP) was introduced;
- A uniform feed-in tariff scheme was introduced for all eligible renewable energy sources;
- The minimum target contribution from small hydro in 2008 was raised from 8 % to 9 % of total supply;
- The minimum target contribution from "other" green power in 2008 was set at 4 %;
- Increasing the share of "green" power from 70% (status in 1997) to the indicative target of 78.1% in 2010 in accordance with Directive 2001/77/EC;
- The targets for "other" green power and small hydro relate to Austria as a whole;
- Uniform feed-in tariffs and surcharges (support contributions) were introduced for the whole of Austria. In the case of small hydro power this resulted in a changeover from a certificate to a feed-in tariff system on 1 January 2003.
Other changes include:
- The certificate system for small-scale hydroelectric power stations expires at the end of 2002.
- As of 1 January 2003, there will no longer be a quota obligation for the network operators and therefore also no more compensation payments as of this date.
- All operators of green plants have the right to a listing of the certification of origin by the network operators.
- The electricity identification system, which regulates the identification of the source of energy used to generate the electricity on bills, will be standardised after a transitional period up to 1 July 2004 and then all electricity dealers must identify a standard composition on all their end consumer bills ("standard dealer mix").
Large parts of the Green Electricity Act (GEA) are designed to support the production of green electricity via a feed-in tariff, which is financed by the Austrian electricity consumers through a clearance mechanism. The 2006 amendment to the GEA created a designated settlement centre, the OeMAG Abwicklungsstelle für Ökostrom (OeMAG), which pays a feed-in tariff to the producers of green electricity. Electricity distributors are then obliged to purchase a certain amount of green electricity from OeMAG at a fixed price, which is lower than the feed-in tariff. This price is set by the Energy Control Commission through Regulations. The difference between the feed-in tariff and the purchase price for electricity distributors are borne by Austrian electricity consumers, who pay a fixed lump sum to OeMAG ("Zählpunktpauschale"), which varies according to the grid level on which they are connected to the network. The OeMAG has a maximum annual budget to purchase renewable electricity (EUR 17 million/year from 2007-11). The feed-in tariff rate is determined by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management, as well as the Länder (Feed-in Tariff Order, FLG II No. 508/2002 of December 2002).
Amendments to the Act in 2006 mean that after conclusion of the contract, the green power plant has to be put into operation within 24 months, after this time limit feed-in tariffs can be claimed, namely tariffs valid at the date on which the contract with OeMAG was concluded:
From the beginning of operation for the duration of 10 years; in the 11th year 75% respectively in the 12th year 50% of these tariffs will be compensated, at least the market price according to § 20 of the Green Electricity Act.
13th till 24th year: Purchase guarantee to the market tariff according to § 20 of the Green Electricity Act minus expenses for control energy (separate depending on wind energy or other energy sources).
The feed-in tariffs themselves were re-defined for the year 2006 and 2007 by ordinance and are consequently to be configured degressively. Hereby a total fuel efficiency of at least 60 % is necessary for combined heat and power processes (solid, liquid, biomass, waste with a high biogenous share, biogas, cofiring plants). For photovoltaic plants 50 % of the expenses, which are necessary for the purchase of the energy, have to be paid by the federal state in which the plant will be erected. For green power plants based on solid biomass, which receive tariffs according to the Green Electricity Act of 2002, the amendment enables a combined support of electric energy and heat.
|Legal References||Green Electricity Act (only available in German)|