Austrian Energy Research Boosts Market Success in Renewable Energy Technologies

bridges vol. 15, September 2007 / Noteworthy Information

A recent report issued by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology underlines Austria's strong position in renewable energy technologies.

Energy of the Future

The R&D initiative "ENERGIE DER ZUKUNFT" ("Energy of the Future") took off in June 2007. For 2007, it provides €20 million funding for ambitious projects in the area of industrial energy research. Energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and intelligent energy systems are the core of the program that fosters the innovative power of small and middle-sized companies in the environmental and energy sector.

More information can be found at:

In 2006, every third solar panel sold in Europe was made in Austria - an example of how technology transfer based on effective research funding in the field of sustainable energy is now paying off.

The report "Renewable Energy in Austria - market overview for 2006" shows strong increases in the sales figures of technologies related to sustainable energy - photovoltaics, solar heating, and heat pumps.

Solar thermal collectors have become an export hit: sales rose by 68 percent compared to 2005. Furthermore, there was a sizeable increase of 40 percent for heat pumps. Sales of photovoltaic equipment shot up by 102 percent - despite cut subventions under the new eco-power law and a corresponding decrease in the home market. Now 97 percent of the photovoltaic equipment is destined for export.

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Development of the total area (in m2) of solar collectors sold; green: domestic market, blue: export

The usually small and middle-sized pioneers are becoming important employers: The number of jobs has risen by 35 percent since 2005, and compared to 2004, there has been an increase of almost 70 percent. These figures highlight the importance of middle-sized industries for the labor market.

Target-oriented research funding, combined with committed scientists and pioneering industry, have contributed to success in a market that relies heavily on the collaboration between science and the economy. For years, Austrian research programs such as the program Nachhaltig Wirtschaften (Sustainable Business) have provided that support.

Development of the total power from photovoltaics (in kWh) sold; green: domestic market, blue: export

Experts predict a worldwide boom for heating and cooling with sustainable energy. To remain at the cutting edge, sound funding of research and development is crucial - the initiative ENERGIE DER ZUKUNFT (Energy of the Future) is a big leap in that direction (see info box). Turning innovations into market success and ensuring Austrian energy supplies for the future requires a vital domestic market. Major impetus should come from the novel eco-power laws, as technology transfer relies on a stable and lasting framework.

Further inquiry:

Michael Paula: michael.paula(at)
Tel. +43 1 71162 652914
Hans-Günther Schwarz:
Tel.: +43 1 71162 652920