Austria needs to further boost solar expansion after record 2021

A 24-MW solar park powers Vienna Airport and the companies located at the airport in the Austrian capital. Image by Flughafen Wien AG.

June 21 (Renewables Now) - Austria more than doubled the newly installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity to 739.7 MWp in 2021 but the expansion efforts must be stepped up further in order to reach the climate targets at the end of the decade.

The new solar capacity surged 117% last year from 340 MWp in 2020, the annual report of the Austrian Ministry of Climate Action shows. At the end of 2021, the Alpine country had 2.783 GWp of installed solar capacity which is enough to meet almost 5% of the nation's electricity needs.

The best performing states last year were Lower Austria which switched on 195 MWp of new solar systems and Upper Austria with 177 MWp.

The surge in new installations was driven by the extensive financial support provided by the state, sector association PV Austria said on Monday.

The record high deployment level last year is a good basis on the way to energy independence but to increase the share of renewables to 100% by 2030, Austria must add 1 GWp of solar power per year on average.

The Renewable Energy Expansion Law alone is not enough to support the solar energy rollout, according to PV Austria's head Herbert Paierl. In his opinion, the power grid must be expanded, sufficient areas must be made available for solar parks and the approval procedures must be accelerated.

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