With more than 30% of its total energy demand already coming from renewable energy, Austria is the ideal location for the forthcoming Renewable Energy World Europe Conference and Exhibition 2013. In this blog, David Appleyard, Conference Director, outlines some of the main developments in Austria’s renewables policy, as well as the key points that will be addressed at this year’s event.
Despite on-going economic headwinds and the fact that the apparently unconstrained growth of a few years’ ago has been replaced with a more measured approach, renewable energy continues to represent an attractive investment in Europe and beyond.
Indeed, according to Austria’s Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth, the country is aiming to increase its share of renewable energy to 34 per cent by 2020. This fundamental transition is being lead by Verbund AG, the country’s largest electricity provider which supplies around 40 per cent of electricity demand in Austria, largely from its more than 100 hydroelectric installations.
Of course, as impressive as Austria’s renewable energy credentials are, it cannot be taken in isolation. In a recent white paper, Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) and Verbund emphasised the importance of collaboration between Germany and Austria, particularly in the development of the transnational electricity market, the improvement of conditions for pumped storage and in expansion of the grid.
This issue of collaboration between countries emphasises the challenge of integrating large volumes of renewable energy – much of it variable output – into Europe’s energy mix without disrupting energy supplies and competitiveness. This is perhaps the key issue of the coming decade, and will be discussed at length at this year’s event, with an entirely dedicated track.
The industry is also now moving into a more mature phase, in which pure business models are set to steadily supersede state subsidised renewable energy markets. This trend is also reflected in our conference programme, with much of our strategic track focused on finance, markets and risk management. We also maintain our strong technical content with a track dedicated to this theme.
With so much on offer in Vienna, Renewable Energy World Europe offers a unique opportunity to not only develop strategic and technical knowledge, but also to make great contacts, develop commercial and financial prospects and do vital business. It is therefore with immense pleasure that I extend my personal invitation for you to join us in Vienna this June for the ‘must-attend’ energy event of the summer.
If you are interested in attending Renewable Energy World Europe 2013, please click here to register: http://www.renewableenergyworld-europe.com/register.html